Utopia, Australia
Commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art Utrecht to search for and photograph the world’s ‘Big Five’ aboriginal artists.

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Utopia Australia

We drove for hundreds of miles along sandy roads with two full tanks of fuel and one extra tank in jerry cans. We also carried drinking water for five days. Before leaving we had to notify the only supermarket in the region that we would be arriving late in the evening. This is the normal procedure for traveling in the outback.

 

Eventually we arrived at the supermarket. Like most supermarkets in aboriginal regions, they don’t sell any fresh food but mostly fizzy drinks and burgers. Consequently, diabetes is a big problem.

 

Finding the artists was not easy as they live on the road with their families. The most talented and internationally known aboriginal artist is Kathleen Petyarre.

 

We finally tracked her down in Alice Springs at a drive-in motel, surrounded by various drunken family members. Sadly, alcohol can be a problem for many aboriginals.

 

Her sister Violet took us to the family mountain which is a recurring theme in her paintings.

 

These photos were exhibited aalongside the work of the five Aboriginal women, at the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art Utrecht.


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