The Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món's exhibition focuses on works on eucalyptus bark, but also photographs, documents and audio files.
Tradition and contemporaneity go hand in hand in the exhibition Traços, which will open at the Montcada headquarters of the Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món on 17 December. It is divided into three sections and on display until May next year. The exhibition aims to show visitors the museum's collection of Australian Aboriginal paintings – more specifically, the extensive collection of works on eucalyptus bark, which contains pieces from the 1950s to the present day. In addition, works from other European and Australian collections have also been received for the exhibition. The artworks will be complemented by photographs, documents and sound archives. Also, during these months, different activities, both in-person and virtually, will be on offer. A digital catalogue will be published at the beginning of 2022.
Estela Ocampo, a specialist in primitive art and primitivism, is the curator of Traços. After the introductory space, you will find the first area showcasing the oldest barks. They are painted with natural pigments and related to the Temps dels somnis, the name by which all the myths and legends that make up the Aboriginal Australian religion are known. The second area covers Aboriginal artists' contact with Western society. The final one features works by contemporary artists with indigenous roots, such as Brook Andrew and Judy Watson; some pieces rework traditional heritage and reflect on current issues for Aboriginal people. It is Andrew and Watson's gaze that allows the exhibition to establish a discursive thread linking past and present. It also helps us observe how Aboriginal Australians, as an example of continuity and change, have maintained an ancestral culture and at the same time have transformed it when different elements have affected them. Traços concludes by proposing alternative narratives and opening the way for a new approach to traditional culture.
You can find more information about the exhibition through this link.