2018 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery. Over the course of three decades the gallery has built an international reputation for innovation and excellence. At the heart of this achievement has been a commitment to non-Western artistic traditions, and particularly to Australian aboriginal art. The gallery’s annual Songlines seasons have introduced many of the leading aboriginal artists to a British and European audience.
This year’s Songlines season opens with an exhibition of work by the Adnyamathanha artist, Damien Coulthard. Coulthard’s paintings draw on the stories and oral histories of remote South Australia told by his great-grandmother and documented in the seminal volume, Flinders Ranges Dreaming, a book that is, coincidentally, also thirty years old this year.
Using natural ochres gathered with his father from his ancestral Adnyamathanha land, Coulthard creates images of great formal beauty that traverse the topics of creation, landscape, kinship, initiation and food-gathering.