Sally Morgan and Lin Onus are two aboriginal artist who are very similar but different in many ways. These two artists present their opinion and point of view on life through their art works. Their paintings are comments on what they see around them and in the past of the aboriginal and white society.
Sally Morgan is not only an artist but also writer. Sally Morgan makes works to explore environmental issues around the world. Working mainly in the area of screen painting, she often deals with aboriginal family problems and how they fight for survival.
“Taken Away” by Sally Morgan is a screen painting made in 1987. The subject matter of this artwork is very complex. Surrounding the main image is a border of continuous waved lines. Inside the border is an image, this includes: three organic shaped mountains in the top third, with two suns in the sky. Below the mountains are two jagged lines, within the lines are numerous odd shapes. Bellow the second jagged line is an area of blank space.
After this space is another jagged line. Proceeding after the jagged line is a row of babies reaching towards the bottom of the artwork, they are in the middle of the artwork. At the bottom of the artwork are women which are twice the size of the babies, these woman are reaching towards the top of the artwork. Between the babies and the women is a wavy but thick line separating the two.
There are many elements and principles used within this artwork some of these include line, shape, direction, size, variation and repetition. There are many assorted lines, which are used all over the artwork some examples are thin, thick, straight and curved. The main directions are horizontal and vertical. There is organic and geometric shapes used throughout the work, though most of the shapes are organic. Repetition is used in many areas of the artwork, as patterning involves repetition, and patterning is a frequently used element in aboriginal artworks.
Sally Morgan’s “Taken Away” tells a story of the past. How aboriginal children were being taken away from their mothers and family and placed in white care. This operation was thought to be the right thing to do at the time in belief that it would provide the children with a better chance of life. The mothers in the bottom of the artwork reach out towards the babies as the babies reach out for their mothers each wanting to be reunited with one another. “Taken Away” is a cultural reflection as it shows different races are treated in different ways.
Lin Onus was an artist with deeply held political views. He possessed humor and a technical expertise in his art. Lin Onus was a cultural terrorist of gentle disrespectfulness. Lin Onus is known to use contrasting categories, to emphasize difference. Lin Onus mainly worked with sculptures and paintings.
“Fruit bats” by Lin Onus is a sculpture made in 1990. “Fruit Bats” is an aboriginal contemporary sculpture. The subject matter of the sculpture includes, a Hills Hoist (clothes line). Hanging off the strings on the top of the clothes line are masses of bats, all you can see are bats. On the pole that holds the clothes line up are a range of circles made up of small dots. At the bottom of the pole are hundreds of circles, the outline of the circles are dots, the hundreds of circles are enclosed by one big circle. Emerging out of the one big circle are many more circles.
There are several elements and principles used within this artwork some of these include line, shape, direction and repetition. There are various lines used such as straight, circular, thick and thin. The circle is the main shape used; it is an organic shape, which appears all over the sculpture. The directions used are horizontal, vertical and diagonal. There is a repetition of line on the hanging bats, the circles on the bats, and on the ground of the artwork.
Lin Onus’s “Fruit Bats” is a humorous work. Lin Onus has presented his point of view on two different races through this artwork; it’s his personal opinion of what he thinks of the two races. The meaning of the sculpture shows an undercurrent of anger. The artwork gives the interpretation that Lin Onus is trying to state that aboriginals are of more importance than Australians, as the work consists of aboriginal species hanging on an Australian backyard icon, and marking it’s place by leaving droppings on Australian territory. This is criticism towards the two races, as white people in some parts of the world contrast, with the black. “Fruit Bats” is a cultural reflection as Lin Onus has deep feelings towards the two races and how they interact with each other.
There are many similarities between Sally Morgan and Lin Onus. The two of them are aboriginal artists, whose artworks consist of their opinions, and issues, that occur in our society, they both include an aboriginal technique in their art, for example patterning and cross hatching, but also embrace a touch of their own expertise. Our world is full of people with different ideas and opinions and one way of expressing them and telling the world what you think is, through art. The two of them both use contrasting categories and elements. In Sally Morgan’s “My Place” she has split the artwork up in to two, a traditional segment and a contemporary segment, while Lin Onus has used contrasting objects in “Fruit Bats” with the painted surface of the bats and the ready made object. Unlike most, aboriginal artworks Sally Morgan and Lin Onus tells a story different from most others, a story of what they think. Where as with other aboriginal artist’s their artworks are visions of their environment on what they see from the sky.
There are also many differences between Sally Morgan and Lin Onus. Although the two of them are aboriginal artists, they come from different cultural backgrounds; therefore they have different beliefs. They present their opinions in dissimilar ways, Lin Onus uses sculptures and paintings and Sally Morgan uses screen paintings, also the material and techniques in which they used are very much unlike. Sally Morgan’s work is an interpretation of the past whilst Lin Onus’s is his own personal opinion and criticize the white race. Lin Onus’s work is more of his own opinion, while Sally Morgan’s is a way of showing what happens in the past. Lin Onus works often criticize one or more races, though he covers this by using humor, it may take you a while to realize the meaning of his artworks. Sally Morgan’s works are more serious and get to the point straight away.
Sally Morgan and Lin Onus are two well known aboriginal artist’s whose art comprise a meaning of what they, believe.