In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

Two "ghost gum" trees that were revered by many in Australia after being made famous by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been found toppled over and burned — victims of a suspected arsonist.

The trees, in the outback near Alice Springs, were due to soon be put on Australia's national heritage register, The Guardian says. It adds that:

"Namatjira [who died in 1959] is credited with bringing the native trees — which are featured in Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and named for their white bark that glows in moonlight — to wider public consciousness as a symbol of Australian identity."

Susan McCulloch, author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that the destruction of the trees is an "appalling and a tragic act of cultural vandalism."

As the Herald writes, "Namatjira is one of Australia's best-known artists, his vivid watercolors bringing his deep familiarity with the desert into the lounge rooms of middle Australia, particularly the lands around the West MacDonnell Ranges, for which he was a traditional custodian. Rather than paint the desert as the dead heart, which painters such as Sidney Nolan did, Namatjira presented it as luminous with engaging individual qualities; he enabled the viewer to see the center as a multi-faceted region of Australia."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Getting A Tattoo Is An Unlikely Rite Of Passage For This Teen

Commentator Katie Davis helped with an unlikely coming of age ceremony for a young man she mentored and tutored for years. She took him to get his first tattoo.
NPR

There Are 200 Million Fewer Hungry People Than 25 Years Ago

That's the good news. The bad news is that there are still 795 million people who don't get enough to eat — and enough nutrients in their food.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Candidates Spending Big On Consultants, Postage

The political consultants need to get paid, and that direct mail needs postage. Then there's the website and the campaign staff. These are the things candidates in the upcoming Virginia primary are spending big money on.
NPR

Threatened Online? Supreme Court Says Prosecutors Must Prove Intent

Justices declined to delineate exactly what sort of evidence could prove that an online post — such as "took all the strength I had not to ... slit her throat" — was intended to spark fear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.