Unwoven cloth made from the bast (inner bark) of a tree. It is also known as ‘tapa’, with reference to the Polynesian bark cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry and used for clothing. There is a huge collection of Polynesian bark cloth in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. In sub-Saharan Africa bark cloth was traditionally decorated with free-hand painting applied with grass brushes, and was used for room-dividers and screens as well as clothing. Its widest application was in Japan, where bark cloth was used for windows, screens, kites, flags and umbrellas.L. Terrell and J. Terrell: Patterns of Paradise: The Styles of Bark Cloth around the World (Chicago, 1980)M. J. Pritchard: Siapo: Bark Cloth Art of Samoa...
(b Bulawayo, 1959).
Zimbabwean sculptor. Bickle studied at Durban University and Rhodes University. She showed extensively in Zimbabwe in the 1980s and exhibited in India, Sweden and New Zealand in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Active in the arts in Bulawayo, she was a founding member of its Visual Artists’ Association. Her pieces are philosophical, both specifically in that she cites Foucault and Yourcenar, and generically in that they comment on the human condition: on hopes, dreams, conflicts and fantasies. Made of multiple manufactured and natural materials, her simple forms speak to complex situations, as seen in A Carta de Gaspar Veloso I, in which writings on parchment are used in conjunction with maps to evoke colonial histories. Her work is in both private and public collections in the US, Britain and Europe.Art from the Frontline: Contemporary Art from Southern Africa (Glasgow, 1990), p. 125 H. Lieros: ‘Earth, Water, Fire: Recent Works by Berry Bickle’, ...
(b Kisumu, Nov 4, 1938).
Australian painter, draughtsman and printmaker of Kenyan birth. He studied art at the Chelsea School of Art, where he gained a strong command of drawing, together with perceptive powers of observation and an intelligent understanding of the formal traditions in painting. He moved to Perth in 1962, where he taught at various art colleges and had a significant impact on a generation of students. He is a determined colourist, creating paintings that refer to the visible world, or to flickering apparitions from it. He has depicted a range of subjects—rural and urban landscapes, interiors and people—and is interested in portraying movement. However, within these diverse subjects there is the unifying theme of his delight in the physical world, in people and their interrelation with their generally prosperous environment. His varied interests have led him to work in a variety of styles and to experiment with technique, but he has been primarily concerned with layering rich, vibrant intense colours in bold strokes, to convey intense light, shade and atmosphere, or to express a sensuous delight in the world around him....
(b Ballarat, Victoria, Dec 25, 1879; d Littlehampton, Sussex, July 1, 1953).
Australian painter, also active in England. In 1900–01 he spent 16 months as a trooper in charge of remounts with the South African Light Horse during the Boer War. After this he moved to London where he studied at the Heatherley School of Fine Art. On his return to Australia he taught art privately until he joined the Australian Imperial Force in 1915, embarking for Egypt with the 1st Australian Remount Unit. Longstaff was invalided back to England in October 1917 and the following year was selected for camouflage training under the Australian Records Section war art scheme. A skilful and innovative camouflage worker, he took plane flights to note effects from the air, his thoroughness contributing to successful concealment of allied activity.
Longstaff is best known for his large, popular, allegorical paintings of ghostly fallen soldiers on battlefields, such as Menin Gate at Midnight (1927), and Immortal Shrine...
The market for ‘tribal art’ emerged in the first decades of the 20th century. By way of avant-garde artists and pioneering dealers, African and Oceanic art slowly became accepted as ‘art’—with its inclusion in the Musée du Louvre in Paris in 2000 as a decisive endorsement. Initially, it was referred to as ‘primitive art’—alluding to an early ‘primitive’ stage in human development; later replaced by the equally biased ‘tribal art’. While still used widely among dealers and collectors (for want of a better word and being conveniently short), the term ‘tribe’, or its derivative ‘tribal’, is frowned upon by the scholarly community.
The foundations of the tribal art market were laid at the turn of the 20th century. European powers colonized large overseas territories in both Africa and Oceania and, along with other commodities, there arrived ethnographic artefacts. Europeans had conducted coastal trade with many African regions over centuries, but systematic explorations of the continental hinterland did sometimes not take place until the first decades of the 20th century. These resulted in the discovery of previously unknown cultures whose ritual objects, such as masks, were displayed during world’s fairs and colonial exhibitions. Many of these objects ended up in newly established museums, such as the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, outside Brussels. Vigorous competitors in the collection of ethnographic objects in both Africa and Oceania, these museums became the leading players in the early phases of the tribal art market’s development. Next to these large-scale official collecting activities, colonial, military, or missionary personnel also brought home exotic objects....
(b Freetown, Sierra Leone, Dec 14, 1965).
Australian installation artist, born in Sierra Leone. Resident in Australia from 1972, Piccinini graduated in 1988 from the Australian National University, Canberra, with a BA and then from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 1991 with a BA (Painting). She produced images and objects that embodied imaginary evolutionary jumps and mutations (see, for example, The Young Family; see image page for more views). To produce these, she worked in a succession of new, novel materials and media: from synthetic resins, plastics and silicone developed for special effects in movies to the digital manipulation used in commercial photography and animation. In her 1997 series of photographs, Protein Lattice, a naked female plays with a large hairless rat with an enlarged human ear growing from its back. The work combined the highly contrived language of mainstream fashion photography, brightly lit, glossy and free of imperfection, with an animal that appeared to be one of the hybrid clones then emerging from laboratories. Both glossy-haired model and mutant rat appear equally artificial and equally indebted to technology....
Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck
Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.
The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...
William H. Davenport
Archipelago in the Temotu Province of the Eastern Solomon Islands. It is composed (from north to south) of two small groups called the Duff and Reef Islands, and Nendö (the largest island, also known as Santa Cruz Island), Utupua and Vanikoro. The total population is c. 12,150 (1991 census). Eleven languages are spoken: Polynesian in the Duff and part of the Reef Islands; four related non-Austronesian languages elsewhere in the Reef Islands and on Nendö; and three Austronesian languages each on Utupua and Vanikoro. Compared with the linguistic diversity, however, aesthetic expression on the islands has been relatively homogeneous.
Europeans first encountered Santa Cruz in 1595, but contact was sporadic and there was little cultural impact until the late 19th century when Christian proselytizing, labour recruiting and trading began. As a result of this more intensive contact, the population declined severely. After the Santa Cruz Islands became part of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (...
(b Ismâilîya, Egypt, Jan 18, 1921; d Sydney, Nov 24, 1973).
Australian painter and museum administrator. He studied at Hornsey School of Art, London, and at Kingston School of Art (1937–40). After serving as a fighter pilot in World War II he continued his studies from 1947 to 1949 at the National Art School, East Sydney Technical College. In 1950 he began working as an attendant at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney but within a year was appointed assistant to the Director. He held this position, retitled Deputy Director in 1957, until his death. He painted all his life, but his career as a painter was overshadowed by his administrative job. He was responsible for the curating and building up of the fine collection of aboriginal and Melanesian art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
During his lifetime Tuckson had only two one-man exhibitions, in 1970 and 1973 at the Watters Gallery, Sydney. Influenced by Picasso, Klee, and de Kooning, American Abstract Expressionists and aboriginal art, his art progressed from portrait and figurative studies through to Abstract Expressionist works. It is for these later works that he is admired as one of Australia’s best ...