Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mintulee of Thurrabarree – The Last Rainmaker

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

I was invited to exhibit an ArtCloth work, “Mintulee of Thurrabarree - The Last Rainmaker” - by Helen Lancaster (curator) for her - A Conversation with Rain - exhibition which was held at the Fairfield City Museum and Gallery 23rd May – 5th July 2009.

Mintulee was known as Joe the Rainmaker. He became a Birdsville (Australia) resident in 1899 when he and the remnants of his Wangkangurru mob emerged from the southern Simpson Desert and made camp by the Diamantina River within sight of Birdsville.

Aboriginals believed that the Earth breathes and so issues steam that then produces clouds - which if coaxed - will condense to give rain. Joe the Rainmaker follows a long tradition of aboriginal elders who have the ability to coax rain.

The central image gives a mystical interpretation to Joe coaxing rain from the "Earth’s breadth". The artwork is a Shibori dyed whole cloth pattern with the central image being discharged and collaged on cotton. The image of the shibori dyed "cross" in the background signifies his poor treatment at the hands of his Christian protectors and also simulates the Earth "breathing", whilst the blue rain clouds are being coaxed over the land.

Mintulee of Thurrabarree - The Last Rainmaker

Full View - Mintulee.
Technique: Shibori dyed pattern and discharged on cotton.
Size: 105 cm (width) x 127 cm (length).

Detailed View 1.

Detailed View 2.

Detailed View 3.

Detailed View 4.

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