Indigenous Life (60 x 43.5 cm)
The artist used beautiful, true to life colours in this authentic, outback Australian landscape that shows a young indigenous man hunting a kangaroo. The young hunter is carrying a woomera or spear thrower, from which he has launched two spears.
The ‘rule of thirds’, both vertically and horizontally, has been used in composing the painting. Initially, the viewer’s main focus is on the principal subject, the hunter, who has been placed in the left third of the painting. However, the eye moves swiftly across the canvas to the subsidiary subject, the kangaroo.
The yellow and orange colours of the ‘stippled’ grass reflect dancing sunlight, and give the painting energy. Tints of yellow are also caught in the clouds. Typical scenes in the Australian outback include sweeping plains of golden grass, and purple tinged mountains. The golden grass silhouettes the shape of the hunter’s dark, violet coloured body. The two colours accentuate each other and stimulate the viewer’s senses. The dark colour of the hunter’s body makes him appear close to the viewer. Dabs of red paint have been placed on the canvas in a circular pattern, and this assists the viewer’s eye in travelling around the painting. It also adds balance to the painting, and keeps it ‘fluid’.
Some visual depth has been achieved because the mid-tones of the coloured mountains on the horizon, separate the tinted sky from the bolder colours in the foreground.
Despite the gruesome scene, the mood of the painting is not one of morbidity.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)