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Dreaming at the Hood

In Australian Aboriginal societies the epic narratives of "the Dreaming," the genesis of land and humanity, comprise the most powerful means of organizing and understanding the significance of place and people.

A new exhibition in the Hood Museum of Art's Gutman Gallery, "Dreaming of Country: Painting, Place, and People in Australia," features 11 contemporary Aboriginal paintings that depict stories from the Dreaming. On view until August 29, these works evoke the Aboriginal connection between land and visual narrative that conveys and preserves cultural heritage, identity, and knowledge despite 200 years of oppressive settler governance and Aboriginal alienation from their homelands.

Among the works in the exhibition are Ada Bird's Petyarre's Body Paint (1999), depicting designs traditionally painted on women's bodies for ritual ceremonies, and Honey Ant Dreaming (1987) by Magdalena Ungwanaka, combining common representations of honey ants with symbols in a contemporary and bright color scheme.

This exhibition was organized by the Hood and is funded by the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund.

- By Kevin Perry '04

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Last Updated: 5/30/08