Australia is a unique country, a utopia, a dream.
Australia is a youthful, magical, and savage land with untouched and uncontaminated nature, with infinite and endless landscapes.
Australia is the keeper of one of the most ancient cultures in the world, the Aboriginal people. They are a population of proud and noble warriors who are going to disappear, overwhelmed by the advances of progress, the encroachment onto their lands, the huge waves of disease from invasions, and massacres.
Aboriginal art preserves this culture, its different tribes with their traditions and beliefs, with their strong connections to animals and nature.
Aboriginal art history is handed down from generation to generation, through rituals, customs, and traditions, with dotted paintings that reproduce maps of the territory better than any geographic map; with symbols of mythical animal figures that tell dreams and legends; with engravings and paintings on rocks; and with spirits imbued with a sense of myth and mystery depicted on tree bark.
“AUSTRALIA AND THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE” aims at creating an awareness of the need to protect the Australian Indigenous people and their culture.
This project consists of a large coffee table book and different exhibitions, with the goal of creating a museum, or an Australian Indigenous people cultural center, somewhere in the world. In addition to affecting awareness of their situation, it is hoped that it will also enlighten others about the culture and art of these wonderful people and inspire travel to Australia.
Alessandra Mattanza, who has spent many years in Australia, has taken twenty years of research to write this book, spending time with different tribes in the entire territory of Australia.
The project was created with her uncle, Giovanni Paride Mattanza, an artist and art collector, a wild character, who, in the ‘60s, when he was very young, traveled the world on a sailing boat from Italy, through Asia, ending up in Australia. With him was his wife, who gave birth to their first son somewhere in Thailand. Once he arrived in Perth, he spent time with the family of his sister, who had moved there from Italy, as well as in the bush, where he disappeared for months at a time, with the Australian Indigenous people. He even started to support Aboriginal artists, hosting them for months at his sister’s house in Perth. In exchange for this, they painted and left him their art, and they shared their stories, rich in mythology about animals and nature. So, he became one of the biggest collectors in the world of Australian Indigenous art and art crafts.
His whole collection was on exhibit in the art museum of Le Tenute La Montina, a winery in Franciacorta, Italy, from 2018 until the end of 2019. Its mission was to support artists: Australian Indigenous artists and, also, contemporary artists, revisiting the myths of Australia, whose paintings are also part of the collection.