The Hogarth Club hosts an exhibition of aboriginal art 

Image above: Aboriginal art from the AA London Gallery in Devonshire Rd, on show at The Hogarth Club

Vividly coloured patterns which tell a story of dreaming and lands far away

The Hogarth Club has an exhibition of aboriginal art work on until 31 March 2022, showing work from the AA London gallery in Devonshire Rd, Chiswick. The Hogarth Club is open to non members to use the bar and view the art work.

The AA London gallery in Devonshire Rd adds an unexpected culture to Chiswick. Unexpected because there are not that many galleries in London which stock the work of indigenous Australian artists.

Gallery owner Hugo has been collecting Aboriginal art since the early 1990s, having been on several trips to Australia. About half the work on show at the gallery (the ‘AA’ stands for ‘Aboriginal Art’) is from there, the rest is other contemporary art from this country: glass, wood sculptures, ceramics, prints and paintings.

Image above: Hugo at the AA London gallery in Devonshire Rd

Originally from Madeira, Hugo travelled the world as a professional dancer on cruise ships before settling to becoming an art collector. He first started selling work online, taking part in the Battersea Art Fair online in 2020 and opening the art gallery in Devonshire Rd in March 2020 – five days before the first Covid lockdown.

That the gallery has survived is a minor miracle. In part it’s because of the pigs, he says. John Barrett-Danes ceramic pigs are always in the window. “They always make people smile” says Hugo.

He stocks other local artists – pots by Roz Wallis, whose studio Chiswick Pots is in Dukes Meadows; prints by Rennie Pilgrem, who regularly takes part in Artists At Home open studios; paintings by Humphrey Bangham, who takes part in The Chiswick Calendar’s Chiswick In Pictures art exhibitions.

But it is the Aboriginal Art which catches the eye – large canvases covered in dots and symbols which each tell a story. Hugo sells the work of the Numina family – six sisters who all paint. Their aunt Gloria, who died recently, was one of the foremost artists in Australia. Internationally recognised, one of her paintings was chosen by Hermes for reproduction on a scarf.

Their mother Barbara Pananka is also well-known in Australia. She grew up in Stirling Station, a cattle station near Tennant Creek where she learned traditional art from parents. She now lives with her daughters – Louise, Lanita, Sharon, Selina, Jacinta and Caroline, in Alice Springs.

“They all paint in different styles” Hugo told me.

Barbara Pananka’s website explains how Aboriginal women have their own ceremonies in which a series of song and dance cycles tell of the Ancestral Beings who walked the earth teaching women’s law and ceremony to isolated groups living throughout the desert.

‘Each tribe has its own set of women ancestors with different stories, designs and dances, but most of the ceremonies have one theme common to all groups – that of food gathering as the most important part of women’s lives.’

The Numina sisters’ work is contemporary, but informed by the forty thousand year Dreamtime histories.

You can see their work at AA London gallery, 24 Devonshire Rd, W4 2HD or at The Hogarth Club, Airedale Avenue, W4 2NW, until 31 March 2022.

Images above: Work by the Numina sisters 

Images above: Ceramic pigs by John Barrett-Danes; wooden bowls by Anthony Fortune

Image above: The AA London Gallery on Devonshire Rd

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick residents vote for more cherry trees on Turnham Green

See also: Tracey Emin among prominent women artists in Chiswick Auctions Urban & Contemporary Art sale

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