" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

November 19, 2017

I Think All People Are Stories

Indigenous Australians are advised that this post includes images and names of people now deceased.
I wrote a post a while back called -
That post was about my visit to the Logan Art Gallery to see Donna Davis's exhibition 'Unseen', but what I was really interested in seeing was not things that I couldn't see, but Vincent Serico's paintings of the stories of people whose lives and stories go mostly unseen, too.
And while these stories/paintings were focused on Indigenous Australian lives I couldn't help thinking how in many ways these stories were to various degrees tangled up too in my own story of a white somewhat alien Australian who was born and raised here in this country, but feels at times part of and sometimes outside of "mainstream" Australian society.
The thing is though that I can't think of one Australian who I grew up with that wouldn't feel like I do to some degree no matter how "Australian" they felt, because everyone is from some other "tribe" that makes them a little different to other "Australians".
To indigenous Australians the "whites" must have seemed like one happy harmonious bunch of people, and to a certain extent that was true, but there were always tribes within tribes and those tribes didn't really trust people from outside their tribe. 
Growing up in Australia in the late 1960s I can remember all of the other white tribes that you either felt a part of, or outside of, to varying degrees and there was hardly any "political correctness" about what people thought about you in those days, because they would pretty much tell you to your face, especially other children.
A kid like me from Danish/German/Jewish/Irish English/Scottish/Russian/Indian (that's as in from India) bloodlines couldn't help feeling a little bit of an outsider who didn't really belong anywhere except as an "Australian".
But I think most "mixed blooded" Australians would feel like that to some degree.
We all have stories that make us who we think we are and sometimes those stories turn out to be nothing more than a
family myth that was passed down to us and the real story has been hidden from us.
I love Vincent's paintings because it gives me the sense of his belonging to and alienation from his country, as well as my own sense of belonging to and alienation from "his" country.
But as the old saying goes, "home is where the heart is" and my heart is in this country, too.
What I like most about Vincent's paintings is the feel of the spiritual elements of the natural and at the same time supernatural world that surrounds this great country.
I liked it when I saw Vincent's painting of the Min-Min Light, a subject I have written about before on this blog -
There are also some terrible stories told of the past massacres, which were pretty much covered up in  white mainstream Australia when I was growing up.
New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars
I also like how Vincent shows how modern technology has alienated his people, as it has alienated many families and communities across modern Australia, not only ingenious people, I would add.
And that painting of Vincent's was from 1994, so how much more has technology alienated people and communities in 2017?
I would highly recommend people viewing Vincent's stories if they can and ironically enough, I saw a movie about another great artist named Vincent during the week, where the whole movie was a story told through a series of real paintings put together frame by frame to make the movie come to life and tell the story of the last days of Vincent van Gogh.
Loving Vincent: A Work of Art Imitating Life?
I guess modern technology can be a double-edged sword sometimes.
But maybe not sharp enough to cut off an ear with ... yet:-)
Everybody is and has got a story to tell and be told ... even the painters who paint them.
I guess I should have titled this post, 'The Tale of Two Vincents'?

1 comment:

  1. This country affiliation we feel is strange, at times bewildering. But I think we're born into the country and time that helps our soul growth accelerate in some way. And maybe that acceleration occurs because we do feel like outliers, who belong to some other tribe. Interesting post, Daz!