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A image of a painting of one of the Seven Sisters songlines. It is a vibrantly coloured painting with one white path crossing down from the top right to the bottom left.

Daily Helping for July 24th, 2023 – Songlines – Yarrkalpa (Hunting Ground)

Today’s daily helping comes courtesy of the Musée du Quai Branly and their incredible exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters. This exhibition focused on the legendary story of the Seven Sisters, an Aboriginal Australian Dreamtime story. In it, seven sisters are hunted across the Australian continent by a shapeshifter named Yurla or Wati Nyiru, who is disguised as a man. Their travels leave a permanent mark on the lands they pass through, and these songlines tell the story of the land for future generations.

I loved this exhibition, particularly the way it demonstrated the importance of songlines and Dreamtime stories in Aboriginal Australian cultures. The way it showed how these stories have been used to navigate and survive the land for thousands of years. And I especially loved the paintings on display that brought these songlines to life in vivid and vibrant colours. Each one is a visual representation of a creation story, and they are each closely linked to a specific place in the land. The painting above was created by eight artists, all women, and it was absolutely beautiful. I hope these stories continue to inspire artists for many more generations to come.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!