Contemporary works alive with the rhythms of the past

Contemporary works alive with the rhythms of the pastDISPLAYED in the cavernous interiors of two World War II-era concrete storage bunkers, the works on view at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair offer an intriguing overview of Queensland's Aboriginal art-making traditions, present and past.

Here are urban indigenous art pieces, strong and hard, set beside delicate print works from the Torres Strait, woven and ceramic pieces brought to life in new art centres, even historical surveys of half-forgotten mid-20th-century precursors from the far north.

Desert tales

Desert talesHe was criticised for making his protagonist an Aboriginal woman, but crime writer Adrian Hyland says it is just his way of bridging Australia's greatest cultural divide.

THE main character in Adrian Hyland's two crime novels is a young black woman called Emily Tempest. In the first, Diamond Dove, she is an amateur detective. In the second, Gunshot Road, she's become an Aboriginal community police officer.

Believers see the light deep in the Peruvian jungle

Believers see the light deep in the Peruvian junglePeru: KEVIN Simmons, a 28-year-old American, says he was stuck - depressed, locked away in his home and taking months to answer an email.

He found the road to recovery deep in the Peruvian jungle, in the form of a sludge-like concoction the Indians call ''the sacred vine of the soul''.

From a stringybark tree a canoe grows

From a stringybark tree a canoe grows A long-forgotten Aboriginal skill has been revived in a south coast forest, writes Steve Meacham.

It has been 170 years since a full-sized ''nawi'' or traditional Aboriginal bark canoe capable of carrying two or three adults has appeared on the ever-moving waters of Sydney Harbour. Drawings and paintings showing the canoes co-existing alongside English sailing ships faded from view in the mid-1830s.

So why were a trio of dedicated enthusiasts delicately stripping the bark from a selected stringybark tree deep in a little-known Aboriginal lands council reserve on the south coast of NSW on a chilly winter's morning last month?

Banff Centre offers Aboriginal dance program

Banff Centre offers Aboriginal dance programStepping back to dance forward: The role of aboriginal tradition in the artistic expression of our profound connection to the natural world plays out in a double bill at the Banff Centre's Margaret Greenham Theatre this weekend, when the centre's three-week summer Indigenous Dance Residency presents Indigenous Territories.

The Indigenous Dance Residency -- a program providing opportunities for indigenous dancers and choreographers to share in the exchange of artistic and cultural knowledge and practice -- is the brainchild of Red Sky Performance artistic director Sandra Laronde, who took over the centre's Aboriginal Arts program in 2008.

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