Once Upon a Time in Papunya, by Johnson, Vivien
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- ISBN: 9781742230078 | 1742230075
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 12/1/2010
Astronomical auction prices in the late 1990s first drew most people's attention to the phenomenon of the 'early Papunya boards', the one thousand small painted panels created at the remote Aboriginal settlement of Papunya in 1971-2. Vivien Johnson looks at the controversies that surrounded the paintings at the time of their creation - and what they mean now to the artists' descendants; the traumas of Geoffrey Bardon as he assisted the painters over those crucial first years; and the distant worlds of art auctions and international exhibitions. The book celebrates the works and the artists. A gripping narrative work, this book is an important intervention in Australian art history. In tracing what happened to the early Papunya 'boards' Vivien Johnson tells a much bigger story of Aboriginal art in Australia and beyond.