Colours of Australia
Little Hare, 2016
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
That eerie time just before dawn as the sky lightens and the stars are fading rapidly.
That split second of sunrise as the shards of light spread new life on the landscape.
That changing palette of oranges and yellows as the sun marches across the zenith on its inexorable journey , textures are in sharp relief and stones shelter and slumber.
That sheltered, filtered coolness as a few rays reach down through the canopy to the soft, sensitive plants on the forest floor.
Those subtle changes as the day draws to a close in a hush of blue, indigo and violet as gentle showers fall and sometimes thunder rumbles.
That all-consuming blackness of night as the sun takes its rest and only shadows remain.
In this visually stunning new book by one of our nation’s leading indigenous artists, the colours of the day stride through the pages capturing and encapsulating the patterns, the moods and the moments of what we so often take for granted, or just don’t see. Bancroft always brings the beauty of nature into focus in her paintings and her evocative text, leaving an impact that forces us to look around and start to view what she sees – perfection in the natural shape, lines and layers of the landscape – through a new lens. Even if we do not have the talent to interpret the landscape and tell its story in the wonderful way of Bancroft, at the very least we can drink in this book and look with new eyes and better understand the connection to the land that our indigenous people enjoy and celebrate so well.
She has used the colours of her homeland west of Grafton, NSW as her inspiration but are they the same colours that would be seen in other parts of Australia? Are we united by them or is the landscape different but no less beautiful? Have you students observe and paint what they see during the course of the day to discover the answer.
As always from this creator, superb.