Baltaltjara

Baltaltjara
1997-1999

Artist/s name
Estelle Hogan
Pitjantjatjara


Medium
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Measurements
132.0 x 113.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Tjuntjuntjara, Western Australia
Accession Number
2002.10
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Supporters and Patrons of Aboriginal Art, 2002
© Estelle Hogan, courtesy of Spinifex Arts Project
Gallery Location
Not on display

Estelle Hogan was born near the border of Western and South Australia at Tjintirrkara in about 1937. She comes from Spinifex country. The Spinifex people returned to their homelands in the 1980s after being traumatised by Maralinga atomic tests during the 1950s and 1960s.

On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision. Put simply, the decision determined that under Australian law, Indigenous people have rights to land – rights that existed before colonisation and which still exist. This right is called native title.  Spurred on by the Mabo  judgment, the Spinifex people mounted a native title claim over 55,000 kilometres of land.

An outcome of this claim was the Spinifex Arts Project, established in 1996. Artists recorded and documented ownership of the Spinifex area as a native title project. Estelle Hogan was one of the founding artists who worked on this project from 1996 onwards. Ten paintings were given to the people of Western Australia as a symbolic exchange for Native Title.

This painting, the artist’s first large canvas, depicts the important site of Baltaljtjara, mirri-mirri (sacred country) near the artist’s birthplace, as well as other sites. Minyma Tjuta (The Seven Sisters) coming in to drink and camp at Baltaljtjara can be seen as footprints. The luminous colour and complex markings and detail celebrate the significance of the sacred site for the artist.

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