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Photograph: David Campbell | Courtesy Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Photograph: David Campbell | Courtesy: Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

The Aurukun ‘camp dogs’ at the 2010 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

“For in Aurukun, a dog is not just a dog, but an ancestral force of extraordinary potency. The community lies in dingo country, crisscrossed by variegated dog dreaming tracks and song-lines.

“The dogs fit in with our stories and our culture,” says Craig Koomeeta, the young star sculptor of Aurukun.

“One of the main stories I had from my ancestors was about the creek that runs up from the Knox River, which is the dingo’s tail.”

The story rushes on: how the dingos came towards Aurukun from the landscape of the distant Northern Territory, how the Knox River dingo became the freshwater shark when it reached the sea, and how the dogs gave language to the region.

Each dreamtime dog has its name, its colours and its qualities of character.

And in the camp dog sculpture commission, those features are precisely captured.”

Nicholas Rothwell ‘Aurukun dogs have their day’, The Australian, August 24, 2010

Categories: Artist, Documentation

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