Dancing Desert Paintings

Westpac Bank at Surry Hills is  showing of a small selection of  my talented partner,  David Naseby’s latest series of paintings –  Desert Dancing .

We  did this amazing trip  into Central Australia last year,  travelling more than 8,000 kilometres,  criss-crossing desert tracks that took us to some of Australia’s most remote  areas. We eventually ended up at  Titjikala,  a tiny community two hours south of Alice Springs where  David did some  volunteer work in the  Art Centre  for a short time. Along the way  he discovered a painting element that would change the appearance of  his next series of paintings.

Desert Rain

Desert Rain

Desert Outcrop

Desert Outcrop

The Indigenous people  have inhabited the western fringes of the Simpson desert for more than 40,000 years. It is a stark and arid, but  very beautiful,  region with its rolling sand hills and desert oaks. Titjikala is accessible by a sand-rutted road meandering through the red dunes. Travellers are are advised to watch out for wild camels, dingoes, kangaroos and roaming bullocks. In Aboriginal dreaming Titjikala means ‘eagle from the clay pan’.  Dominating  this community of 250 people is an abnormally large sand dune.The explosion of colour from  the rich burnt orange of the dune  seemed to have an intensity like no other  he had ever seen, and David began to wonder if he could use some of the actual  red dirt  in his paintings. A couple of boys who  work at the Arts Centre  drove off with him to fill a large plastic bucket full of soil to  take home. Two weeks later  back  in his studio he experimented  by mixing the soil with glue before  painting it on to the canvas.  The rich red hues that formed  added an exciting  new  tactile  dimension  to  his work making these latest paintings at once tangible and abstract.

David sees this desert landscape as a snapshot from an ancient times.  Mostly untouched by human habitation the eternal silence of the harsh terrain  overwhelms and confronts us with our own fragility.

If you happen to be  in Surry Hills  and would like to drop in and look at his work, the Westpac branch  is at 547 Crown Street

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About Eileen Naseby


In 2006 Murdoch Books published ‘Ursula- A Voyage of Love and Danger’, my mother’s memoir. I am now in the process of completing a work of fiction.

Email me at: en(at)eileennaseby(dot)com

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