One more excerpt from Fred Myers’ Painting Culture:

Myers highlights the distinctions between the paintings of the Pintupi tribe and the art from Balgo, just south of the Pintupi land:

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Pintupi culture

valorizes some dimensions of painting–a painting’s truth in relation to the Dreaming, the right of expression as part of one’s identity–but gives no particular discursive support to…the aesthetic function.

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In Balgo Hills

a different dimension of ritual painting practice has become critical; the element of touch as transferring spiritual essence…a continued emphasis on the haptic, or tactile, quality of painting, with the deployment of paint on the canvas more closely replicating the painting of bodies, focusing on the penetration of colors into the surface.

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Both of these impulses–the mystical, unspoken connection with something larger than life as well as the body-based ritual and sacred gesture–speak powerfully to me.

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