Maralinga

Jonathon Brown, Pitjantjatjara / Australian, 1960 - 1997
Pitjantjatjara
South Australia
Australia

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1994

Acrylic, sand, and ochre on canvas

Overall: 54 5/16 × 25 9/16 in. (138 × 65 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner

2009.92.152

Geography

Place Made: Australia, Oceania

Period

20th century

Object Name

Painting

Research Area

Painting

Not on view

Label

The Tjukupa (Dreaming) imagery that defines this land, the black and white concentric circles and the paths that connect them, has been obscured. The artist used ochre, a material of the land, to show Maralinga’s desecration and the loss of history, memory, and culture. In the early 1950s, the British government began testing missiles and nuclear weapons in an area that was previously designated as an Aboriginal Reserve. The Indigenous people, mostly Pitjantjatjara and Pintupi, were forced off their land where nine nuclear devices were exploded between 1952 and 1975, making the area around Maralinga uninhabitable. Brown’s painting both preserves the memory of the land and laments for what has been lost.

From the 2023 exhibition Layered Histories: Indigenous Australian Art from the Kimberley and Central Desert, curated by Amelia Kahl, Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming

Course History

ANTH 3, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Summer 2013

ANTH 74, The Human Spectrum, Nathaniel Dominy, Spring 2015

ANTH 3, Intro to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Winter 2019

ARTH 89.05, Art History: Theory and Method, Elizabeth Kassler-Taub, Fall 2019

ANTH 3, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Chelsey Kivland, Summer 2021

ANTH 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Spring 2022

ANTH 74, The Human Spectrum, Nate Dominy, Spring 2022

ANTH 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2022

Studio Art 25.01, Painting I, Enrico Riley, Winter 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

Writing 5.04, How to Look, John Barger, Fall 2023

Writing 5.34, How to Look, John Barger, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Layered Histories: Indigenous Australian Art from the Kimberely and Central Desert, Amelia Kahl, Curator, 5 August 2023 - 2 March 2024, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Publication History

Stephen Gilchrist, editor, Crossing Cultures, The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Art at the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2012, p. 15, Fig 1.14.

Provenance

Neil McLeod Fine Arts Studio, Tecoma, Victoria, Australia; sold to Will Owen (1952-2015) and Harvey Wagner (1931-2017), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, date unknown; given to present collection, 2009.

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