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Turtle by Gerry Blitner aboriginal artist

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    Posted 2 months ago

    racer4four
    (601 items)

    I was very happy when I found this turtle in an antique centre recently. It is a great piece of indigenous Australian art that I enjoy daily.

    I was brought up in a western NSW country town and it had a significant aboriginal population. We were not taught much in school back then about the length and wealth of aboriginal history but I guess that's when my awareness began. Our indigenous have been treated very poorly (as have most worldwide). We took their land, murdered many, destroyed their culture and stole their children. I totally understand their pain and anger.

    I live on Burramutagal land in the Darug nation and even in suburban Sydney there are significant cultural sites close to me.

    I don't have much aboriginal art but this is such a great piece. Gerry Blitner was a guide, artist, army scout, pearler, and fighter for land rights. He was from Naiyalrindji country on the mighty Roper River, south east of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Born on the banks of the Roper River in 1920, Mr Blitner was taken away to the mission at Emerald River Station on Groote Eylandt. As an adult he reconnected with his people and became a revered and strong elder. He worked as a land rights leader and was chairman of the Northern Land Council in the 1980s.

    Mr Blitner died in 2008 at age 87 and was given a traditional burial on Groote Eylandt. Members of his family have continued his artistic lead and his grandson Eddie is a respected indigenous artist.

    Gerry Blitner's art is traditional and nature based. This little turtle probably dates from around the 1970s and is around 19cm long.

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    Comments

    1. dav2no1 dav2no1, 2 months ago
      Great piece and great history. Looks like something that I would buy.
    2. Newfld Newfld, 2 months ago
      Lovely vintage turtle with beautiful design on its back, plus super history - Karen you find the most unique pieces!
    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 months ago
      Fabulous !!.!.!!
    4. kyratango kyratango, 2 months ago
      Great piece of art! Aboriginal history is very important to preserve and appreciate :-)
    5. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 2 months ago
      I thought it was flat at first, like a homemade trivit. Now I see the curve. Just love turtles !~
    6. racer4four racer4four, 2 months ago
      Thanks Dav2, it's different enough for you!
    7. racer4four racer4four, 2 months ago
      Jenni I was exposed to aboriginal sites and paintings as a child and have always wanted a genuine piece of aboriginal art. This one is perfect with it's beauty and history so I had to get it. Thanks for the love.
    8. racer4four racer4four, 2 months ago
      Thanks Vet!
    9. racer4four racer4four, 2 months ago
      KT with a culture over 60,000 years old the first Australians have a long and rich history and yes! we should always appreciate their art and culture. Thanks for the comment.
    10. racer4four racer4four, 2 months ago
      It is curved Phil and that makes it very tactile as well as great looking. Thanks mate, hope you are staying well.
    11. LaurenRedmond LaurenRedmond, 2 months ago
      Very nice design and pattern on this- definitely very geometric too, but also really unique. The little addition of the turtles head is cute and unusual
    12. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 1 month ago
      A beautiful piece of aboriginal history! An amazing piece to come by. I know you will display this wonderful turtle proudly!
      A little off topic but...one of my favorite movies I have watched several times is “Quigley Down Under” starring Tom Selleck & Laura San Giacomo ( she is a hoot in this movie playing “Crazy Cora”). Set in 1860, I always wondered how true to life the history was. Parts of the movie are horrifying, with nasty men shooting entire tribes and running them off cliffs...
      Maybe I just don’t want to believe such things happened....
    13. racer4four racer4four, 1 month ago
      I am very pleased you enjoy this great piece of art and thanks for the comment.
      I don't know that film Eileen but the genocide of Australia's first people was horrific and those things did happen.
      I am very uncomfortable with how they are still treated and how their history is viewed and saved.
      I guess this great turtle helps me keep my awareness of inequality alive, but more than that it makes me consider art, and nature, and a culture over 60,000 years old.
    14. Vynil33rpm Vynil33rpm, 30 days ago
      Nice ,,,I also Responded to Woody’s linguistics
    15. racer4four racer4four, 30 days ago
      Ta Vinyl
    16. Mnhall, 8 days ago
      Gerry blitner is my grandfather. I always love seeing his carvings. I own quiet a few of them myself.
      He was an amazing man and very missed.
    17. racer4four racer4four, 8 days ago
      Thank you for connecting with me Mnhall. It's fantastic to hear from someone directly related to Gerry Blitner. You must be very proud of him. I had to really edit his biography for this post and I know he achieved so much more than I stated here.
      I think your contact has made this piece even more treasured for me.
      Regards
      Karen

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