wtorek, 2 marca 2010

My Dreamtime at the very begining

Flights. Paris (an amazing airport!) - Hong Kong (there will be time for it in July) – Melbourne. When a plain took off in Hong Kong I felt really asleep so I just noticed a breath-taking view of small islands, a blue-blue-blue ocean and dazzling reflections. I didn't expect that when I would wake up in few hours, I experience something magical. I noticed a land emerging at the horizon and after that everything started. We were flying through the whole of Australia, the whole of Australian outback: starting from Darwin (do you recognise Kakadu National Park? So Darwin is there:), then Alice Springs, Eyre Lake, Simpson Desert... And all of that during the daytime, in a full sun, without even one cloud.

I was frightened. No, not that I realised I'm so far away from Poland. No. I was frightened by my reaction. When I was packing in Poland, even on-board, I felt nothing. I did not feel like going to MY Australia. I did not feel that my greatest dream was coming true. And what's worse, even when I saw this red, chapped land, when I felt on my cheek the Australian, burning sun, even at that very moment I did not feel anything. To be precise: I feel like in... Dreamtime. And then I understand.

For sure you know that within Aboriginal belief systems, a formative epoch known as 'the Dreamtime' stretches back into the distant past when the creator ancestors known as the First Peoples traveled across the land, creating and naming as they went. Indigenous Australia's oral tradition and religious values are based upon reverence for the land and a belief in this Dreamtime. It's an oral culture based on stories that are told by one generation to another. Now I can really believe this culture was born by this land, because it's talking to you.

At the beginning you are like in another "time sphere" (what is true, indeed), it's like a daydream. However, as soon as you realize it is not, so you keep looking at this land and then you start reading your story. This land, from the bird's eye view, is like a skin, a body of the old man: with wrinkles, veins... An old man who has his own history, fascinating history. An Australian poet, A.D. Hope calls Australia "a nation of trees" and writes about "spiritual poverty of land". Patrick White described once Australian interior: "a dead heart". These are quite bitter words and unfair when we consider Indigenous tradition and myths.

Few days later I was in the gallery of Indigenous Art in the city centre and I discovered that most of the Aborigines' paintings seemed to be like Australian outback seen from bird's eye view. Maybe Aborigines artists are flying during their Dreamtime? But that was not the only thing that caught my attention. I do not like modern arts, I'm not into surrealism or abstractionism. It's like watching Antonioni: I appreciate a technique and an idea, although I don't like it. It's not my style. At the very first moment of the meeting with Ingenious Arts, these paintings seems to you like the Western modern art, but it's definitely not. It is more emotional than intellectual. It doesn't represent any idea, but the story itself. The history of tribes, the history of their traditions, celebrations, a mythical past and culture – one of the oldest in the world. Aborigines came here 60,000 years ago. That's their land for sure, because they know how to read this land. We (remember I'm Aussie meanwhile;) have just started learning that, to be precise: in 26th January 1788 when James Cook's reach the shore of Botany Bay.

To be continued... (next time: my Picnic at Hanging Rock and tap-dancing Aborigines:)

1 komentarz:

  1. Miło, że piszesz :) Tego mi brakowało :)
    Na pewno będę odwiedzać i czytać! Powodzenia podczas australijskiej przygody!