IDEAS, PAINTINGS

Stories of my life- Could it be less exciting?

My boy is now three years old.

Lately, he banned me from calling him “my baby” since “ he is not a baby any more“.

Many changes have occurred at this stage of development.

I have to admit that “he is not a baby any more” indeed !

I have sworn that I will respect, his personality and his will, at any case.

So I  try to value his desires the most and when he asks me for something I try to respond, no matter what my mood is!

Lately and almost continuously when we share a moment of tenderness he asks me for “stories”.

-“Mom, please, are you going to tell me your stories?”

 

girl hearing stories to sleep
photo credits to wonderful Anni Sprat.

He is so fond of hearing stories of mine!

Not important ones, with heroes and kings and dragons…

He loves to hear some idiot stories I have originally said when I wanted to attract his attention and make him to eat or to wear his pyjamas…

Those stories are all real and come from my life.

Usually, they include the minimum of action or suspense, but he keeps asking to hear them again and again and again…

“Mum do tell me the story that you could not sleep one night because the cats were screaming out on the street ….”

 

cat looking to get in a story
photo credits to the amazing Federica Diliberto

 

“Mum, tell me the story that you touched your eye after you had cut a hot chilly pepper …”

The same thing he does with his grandmothers.

He asks for more stories, from their lives…

 

photos like old stories
photo credits to the inspired Cheryl Winn Boujnida

 

Those stories have the same simple scenarios, made exclusively from their lives.

But he is absolutely charmed as he listens to those silly stories…

and sometimes even makes corrections if we don’t use the exact words!

I have been accusing my  mother that “she keeps saying the same stories all the time”.

Only to discover that with this “new habit” of my boy, I got to learn childish things and stories about her childhood that I never knew.

Also finding out about the troubles she got into as a child…

Meaningless descriptions – but also capable of creating an atmosphere of romantic, velvet memories of an old age that my mother was a child herself…

Then I got to think  about “Time” in general and how endless this game is, if I think of my grandmother as a child and the great-grandmother and so on…

 

time passes and stories remain
photo credits to the ethereal photographer : Seth Macey

 

Speaking about this Time thing…

I have never, ever heard of Aboriginal Art before.

Neither about Aboriginals.

They  were among the first inhabitants of Australia and Tasmanian island.

Aboriginals have a spiritual connection to land, animals and water.

Their strongest belief is that they do not own the land, but in reverse, the land owns them.

Actually when the mother feels for the first time the baby to moove in her belly, the land she is standing on this very moment, is the land that the baby will belong .

Their culture dates back as far as between 60,000 to 80,000 years when Aboriginals firstly settled in Australia.

Visible rock art dated older than 20,000 years, still can be found nowadays as the first evidence of their ethos or philosophy.

 

aboriginal stories on rocks
Kimberley -aboriginal art on the rocks….(!)

 

Australian Aboriginal people had no written language of their own.

They used to draw symbols on the sand, dance, or saying a song in order to say a story and help to pass on vital information and preserve their culture.

In 1971 Geoffrey Bardon was assigned as an art teacher for the children of the Aboriginal people in Papunya, near Alice Springs.

He noticed that during the time Aboriginal men were telling stories, they would draw symbols in the sand.

He encouraged them to draw those symbols onto paper or canvases and this is how the Aboriginal Art started.

Since Aboriginals did not want others to understand or learn the sacred, restricted parts of their stories, the artists decided to eliminate the sacred elements.

So they abstracted their designs into dots to keep secret their divine meanings.

 

stories about symbols in the aboriginal art
Aboriginal sacred symbols

 

Aboriginal Art is about painting the “Dreaming” which provides the identity for Aboriginal people and their association or connection to the land.

It is the period in which the world was created.

A Dreamtime story is up to and possibly even exceeding 50,000 years old,

and has been passed on through the generations for all those years!!

Artists need permission to paint a particular story:

Traditional Aboriginal artists cannot paint a story that does not belong to them through family lineage.

 

aboriginal stories
This is the ancient story of the Milky Way and the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). This Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella from her mother, handed down to her from her paternal grandmother, Long Rose, given to Gabriella by her father.

 

So this was the way the Aboriginals  have been saying their stories to their children in order to awaken their spiritual and cultural connection to the land.

This was passed to their paintings and the symbols referred to Dreaming sites, water holes and burial grounds.

Dot paintings are now internationally recognised as unique and integral to Australian Aboriginal Art.

 

Dot painting is a synonym to Aboriginal Art

 

If you find this painting kind of naive, read this:  In 2007 the first piece of indigenous Aboriginal art sold for more than 1$ million!

 

Back to “my” stories.

I maybe do not know how the universe was made.

For sure connecting  with plants, rivers or mother earth, is not my strength…

but

every time my boy asks me for a story, there is a part of me, that gets inside him and stays forever …

The same that the stories of my mother did and the stories of her mother that survived through her.

I value so much those stories now.

Those that I have heard so many times.

Together with my stories that I have never vocalised but I can recall them as feelings.

Those  memories that becoming stories as years go by.

So it was and this little fiat car for me.

We used, as family,  to make the back seat as a car for the kids (us) and travel. Usually it was for long hours early in the morning (no air condition back then) in the Summer time.

Packaging everything on the top of the car and keeping vital space inside for this bed-car situation.

Ι was enchanted and felt that I have been living the ultimate adventure.

It was a car-house for God sake !

story about an old car.
My “Dreamtime” of this fiat127 car ( pencil and watercolour)

 

There are stories in every family that connect (or split )the members.

When I hear or tell those connection stories a smile appears on my face ( even if they are not always happy ones).

Mind  the stories that surround you.

Those you listen to and those you choose to reproduce.

We are our stories.

Aboriginals knew best the sacred part of the stories among the family members.

And the next time a person of your family will say the same (old) story for 10th time, relax and enjoy the feeling of familiarity and trust.

Yes, you know how it ends!  And that’s may be the beauty!

 

Thank you for being here

xxx Angie

 

 

Sources to learn more about Aboriginal Art:
1. https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/land/meaning-of-land-to-aboriginal-people)

2. https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/aboriginal-art-library/aboriginal-dot-art-behind-the-dots/)

3. http://dreamtime.net.au/why/

4.https://www.kateowengallery.com/page/10-Facts-About-Aboriginal-Art.aspx

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