Darryl Pfitzner Milika’s Sky, Land and Beyond: Expanding identity

Milika is an artist and keen amateur astronomer. His photography and mixed media work express a fascination with landscapes uniting land and sky. Some of the photographs are straight-up astronomical photos, while most of the rest depict reflections of sky in water. Milika, who did not grow up with Dreaming stories, is wary of referencing Aboriginal lore directly in his work, but his most striking photograph is of the emu in the Milky Way, a figure of negative spaces within star fields. The mixed media work, of steel animal sculptures marching over painted landscapes, was less immediately interesting, apart from Ants, which brought to mind a union of Mars and Earth via the ant-creatures of Quatermass and the Pit. Until 11 November. Images available at the Tandanya website.

Jimmy Pike’s Desert Psychedelic

Pike brought a fluorescent palette to Western Desert art. This retrospective of the late artist includes screen prints, clothing, and long sheets of fabric hung from the high ceiling of the main gallery. Much of the patterning is familiar if you’ve seen other Western Desert art, but the colours bring to mind the best and worst of the Eighties fluoro fascination. There are also quieter black and white works. Some pieces are presented with descriptions of the stories they depict while others have titles which remain untranslated. A few key works need no translation, such as a sinuous print of desert dunes and vegetation. Until 25 November. Images available at the Tandanya website.

One thought on “Art Reviews: Darryl Pfitzner Milika and Jimmy Pike

  1. Both I and the other Dr F greatly enjoyed this and, you will be happy to know, Desert Designs appear to be about to launch an online store so that you’ll be able to buy Pike-inspired textiles sometime in the near future.

    Pike’s story, by itself, is fascinating and he made a great deal out of his considerable talent, defining an entirely new way of looking into the grand landscapes of Australia.

    I found both exhibits inspiring and the entire gallery was fantastic. A+: will visit again.

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