Central Australia

| View to Uluru, 2007 |

My niece and nephew’s writing about their time in the USA got me thinking about our own central Australia.

Another spot in the world with mind-boggling earthly structures. I remember being quite hesitant about seeing this monolith and the centre of Australia for the first time.

I arrived by plane, but artist Rex Battarbee and fellow artist John Gardner travelled to central Australia in the 1930s in a T Ford converted into a caravan. They were heading for the spectacular MacDonnell Ranges.

Warrnambool born Battarbee met up with some of the Aranda (Arrernte) people at the Lutheran Hermannsburg Mission.

And so the story begins. The artists gave the wide-eyed young Mission children paper and pencils and some of the young ones tried to emulate the European style of Batterbee’s art work.

| Rex Batterbee at Finke River camp 1939, image by Gwen Tullo, from Seeing the Centre by Alison French, 2002 |

Julia Ritson

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