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I was originally attracted to Aboriginal art - especially that from the Central (desert) region of Australia - for a number of reasons.

First, because while it is one of the oldest forms of art known (especially in the form of cave paintings), it's use of colours and designs is amazingly contemporary.

Second, because it is truly original, and has been (until more recent years when, by out of economic necessity to the Aboriginal people, it became commercial) uninfluenced by the forces of modern society -- and, thank goodness, it is still uninfluenced by global contemporary art trends. As such, it's originality is maintained by the geo-political isolation of the Aboriginal artists and their insistence in maintaining their ancient artistic and folk loric traditions.

Third, because it uses a limited but striking range of essentially primary colours. The colours are simple. On first glance, the features - especially those of design and composition - of Aboriginal art look very simple too, but on further examination they can be seen to be extremely intricate.

Fourth, because each Aboriginal painting has a story behind it. They might look like dots and lines, etc, but they represent, and pass on, important aspects of the Aboriginal culture and ancient traditions. They are a visual manifestation of folk lore. And, in the (frequent) interpretations of dreams, wanderings and 'happenings', they are amazingly Freudian. Or Freud is amazingly Aboriginal! (Discuss.)

Fifth, because it is the art of survivors -- the Aborigines have been hunted, persecuted, murdered, rounded up, abused, moved out of their settlements, had their land stolen, forceably resettled, experienced white man's diseases (medical and alcoholic), and been subject to many other things – but still they make fine art.

Sixth, because the art is a reflection of the countryside - especially the deserts and the outback where many of them still live as seen in the colours, shapes, and images - and their history and traditions.

And seventh and last, BECAUSE IT IS BEAUTIFUL!

I can but be moved and influenced by it.

And that is why I do it, even though I've never been to Australia and have no intentions of ever going there - not even to see my sister who lives in New South Wales!

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