Lin ONUS, Jimmy's billabong Enlarge 1 /1

Lin ONUS

Yorta Yorta people

Australia 1948 – 1996

Jimmy's billabong 1988 Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Dimensions: 114.0 h x 235.0 w cm framed (overall) 1170 h x 2380 w x 60 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1988
Accession No: NGA 88.2398
Image rights: © Lin Onus. Licensed by Viscopy

A self-taught artist, Onus grew up watching his father William Onus (1906–1960) carve and paint in his Belgrave shop, where boomerangs, textiles and ceramics bearing Aboriginal designs were made and sold. As a young man, Onus met many Aboriginal artists, including landscape painters Ronald Bull (1943–1979) from Lake Tyers in Victoria and Revel Cooper (1938–1983) from Carrolup in Western Australia. Together with Albert Namatjira, these artists provided the inspiration for Onus’s emerging style.

Onus made a number of visits to Maningrida in Arnhem Land, which were the catalyst for the development of a radical new painting style that united the iconography of Aboriginal and European art traditions. Onus met Murrungun/Djinang artist Jack Wunuwun and was adopted into his family. Wunuwun taught Onus law and culture and significantly gave him permission to use customary designs, including rarrk (crosshatching).

Jimmy’s billabong 1988 shows Onus’s immaculate handling of rarrk overlaying his treatment of the Australian landscape in a photorealist mode. The convergence of these two visual perspectives embodies a postmodernist strategy that reflects Onus’s personal and artistic journey. The trees that populate the billabong are reflected in the cool dark water and its hidden depths suggest other worlds and new possibilities, which could be the ultimate aim in Onus’s art. In creating hybrid forms that refuse categorisation and demand a more analytical/critical space for Aboriginal art, Onus’s legacy continues to inspire future generations of artists.

Stephen Gilchrist


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010

林·昂纳斯 (Lin ONUS)
澳大利亚维多利亚州墨尔本
《吉米的死水潭》(Jimmy's billabong)
1988年
帆布材料,合成聚合物涂料
114.0(高) x 235.0(宽) 厘米
装裱1170(高) x 2380(宽) x 60(深) 毫米
1988年购买
收录号:NGA 88.2398

昂纳斯是自学成才的艺术家,从小看着父亲威廉·昂纳斯(1906–1960)在贝尔格雷夫店(Belgrave shop)里雕刻上色,店里制作出售带有土著图案的飞去来器、纺织品和陶瓷制品。年轻时,昂纳斯接触了很多土著艺术家,包括山水画家罗纳德·布尔(Ronald Bull,1943-1979,维多利亚州泰尔斯湖[Lake Tyers]人)和雷维尔·库珀(Revel Cooper,1938–1983,西澳州卡罗鲁普[Carrolup]人);加上阿尔伯特·纳玛其拉(Albert Namatjira),这些艺术家为昂纳斯的新兴风格提供了灵感。

昂纳斯多次造访阿纳姆地(Arnhem Land)马宁格里达(Maningrida),促进了一种全新绘画风格的发展,将土著与欧洲艺术传统的图腾统一起来。昂纳斯结识姆伦冈/金囊(Murrungun/Djinang)艺术家杰克·乌努乌恩(Jack Wunuwun),并被他收养为义子。乌努乌恩向昂纳斯传授法律和文化,最重要的是,允许他使用传统图案,包括交叉排线。

《吉米的死水潭》创作于1988年,表现了昂纳斯对交叉排线法的娴熟使用,排线覆盖使用照相写实主义手法处理的澳大利亚风景。这两种视觉角度的汇集体现了一种后现代主义策略,反映了昂纳斯的个人和艺术之旅。扎根岸边的树倒映在凉爽的黑水里,隐藏的深渊暗示着其他世界和新的可能性,这可能就是昂纳斯艺术追求的最终目的。昂纳斯创造的混合形式无法分类,并为土著艺术争取了更多的分析/批评空间,其遗产持续启发着未来艺术家。

Stephen Gilchrist
斯蒂芬·吉尔克莱斯特


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra