Leaving for Horseshoe Bend

This is my entry into the Alice Art Prize 2014 competition held in the Araluen Regional Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
SOLD. This is my entry into the Alice Art Prize 2014 competition held in the Araluen Regional Art Gallery in Alice Springs.



3 thoughts on “Leaving for Horseshoe Bend

  1. Wonderful work Naomi.
    I’d love to hear your story about this painting. Something about that man on the ass. Looks as though this mob have a mission ahead. X

  2. Hello Angela and thank you for encouraging me to write. About 10 years ago I read the book “Journey to Horseshoe Bend” by T.G.H. Strehlow, the youngest son of Frieda Keysser and Carl Strehlow. Carl was a superintendent of the mission where they lived and worked at Hermannsburg just south of Alice Springs from 1896 to 1922. This story alludes to the death of Carl Strehlow from the point of view of his son Theo who was 14 at that time. My painting depicts the Strehlow family boarding a cart to take them to the railhead at Oodnadatta. Carl was extremely ill with dropsy and in great pain. He died en route to the train that was to take him to Adelaide for medical treatment, at a bend in the Finke River called Horseshoe Bend. I appreciate this book immensely because it speaks of the take- over of this country by foreigners from Aboriginal traditional owners. In this case the Western Arrente and wherever I go in Australia, I wonder about how the stealing of each Aboriginal nation came about.

    There are many different stories I have read about Hermannsburg. I always visit there when I am in Central Australia because it can so easily put me in touch with our shared history and I have even been to Horseshoe Bend on the Finke River.

    This painting “Leaving for Horseshoe Bend” was painted under the influence of Giotto who lived and worked in Italy about 700 years ago. I went to Tuscany two years ago in order to study his paintings because I love the way he deals with narrative and often need to paint narrative. The man on the donkey is an enigma. While I was painting, he came into being in two other places in the background of the canvas which I blocked out. In the end the man on the donkey loomed up front. Carl and some of the older men are seeing him, others are unaware. I can say nothing more. He is there for you to play with in your mind. Naomi

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