Lorraine Gill Galleries - The Australian Series

Desert Song

I was out on a different settlement and we were told there was going to be a 'Women's Dance' in the evening. I was also told that this was a great privilege because it wasn’t usually allowed for people to see what was a rather private ceremony. The light was golden and their bodies were almost a burgundy in that particular light. They shone. On the left-hand side the women formed a conga-like movement and with their elbows began to shuffle in a particular rhythm, just slowly. It seemed to me as though it were a story that was being repeated over time, which to me suggested that this story had been told over centuries. In the centre of the dancers was a phallus-shaped pole. On the right-hand side their were three women who embraced each other with their elbows, pointed outwards, making a flower with a central point. The movement on the left side shuffled slowly towards the pole and almost towards the volume that the women on the right-hand side were making. To me, although there was no language, just the song itself, it seemed to represent the fertility of the earth and the action of fertilisation. The painting is a diptych, with the space between the two canvasses representing the central pole.
 

Desert Song