Piercing the Ground
In Piercing the Ground, Christine Watson has written a comprehensive account of Balgo women's art, from the public sand drawings which literally ... Show synopsis In Piercing the Ground, Christine Watson has written a comprehensive account of Balgo women's art, from the public sand drawings which literally pierce the ground to vibrant canvas paintings presenting the actions of ancestral beings. In the book she shows how the women's public sand drawing relates to their roles as hunter-gatherers, and how the women contribute to the symbolic language of Balgo iconography. At the heart of the women's cosmology, the making of the marks in the earth or on a canvas replicates the action of the ancestors in marking the earth and rocks and externalizing themselves on that surface. The conception of senior women artists as they paint their canvasses is that they are piercing the material of the canvas so that the designs vibrate with the presence of the ancestors. These canvasses communicate an impression of the power and presence of the ancestors to viewers of the art.