Of late, I have been reading a lot about this notion of "cultural appropriation". Children are no longer able to dress like people of another culture for a fancy dress party or for Halloween. It's supposed to be disrespectful to the other culture.
I also read a post by an Indian woman called "White people need to stop saying namaste". Wow!
I think this entire concept of "cultural appropriation" is a sign of left/liberalism gone crazy. It seems to be part of a trend of manufactured outrage we're seeing a bit too much of. I also think it's precisely this excessive political correctness that leads to backlashes like the election of Trump, so let's all be warned not to push our luck.
I have used an Aboriginal motif with the intention of acknowledging the importance of the first peoples of Australia, not with the desire to mock or to caricature Aboriginal culture. My intent is therefore respectful. Perhaps the similarity of my work to the genuine article is only superficial, and neglects some core element of Aboriginal art. Well, culture is not a static construct, and so art should rightfully build on prior art, and innovate further.
So I reject in advance the notion that I have "appropriated" elements of another culture, because I reject any definition of "cultural appropriation" that does not include a consideration of intent.]
- Day versus night
- Sun versus stars
- Tradition versus modernity (the Aboriginal style of painting represents tradition; the use of stylised stars rather than conventional 5- or 7-pointed stars represents modernity)
- Radial versus Cartesian coordinates (the elements of the sun radiate out from a central point; the stars in the Southern Cross are laid out along a horizontal and a vertical axis)
- Many versus a few (63 circles; 5 stars)
The whole then goes to make up Australia - the Great Southern Land.
Why did I create this? And how? This blog post provides a detailed explanation.