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Vivien Johnson: Once Upon a Time in Papunya

Reviewed by
November 2010, no. 326

Vivien Johnson: Once Upon a Time in Papunya

Reviewed by
November 2010, no. 326

The force of Dreaming

Ian McLean

 

Once Upon a Time in Papunya
by Vivien Johnson
New South, $34.95 pb, 400 pp, 9781742230078

 

The most widely known story of Australian art is about the beginnings of Papunya Tula. It has, says Vivien Johnson, been ‘retold so often that it almost has the force of Dreaming’. Its force is not just due to the story’s frequent telling, but also to the crime with which it begins, which was the making of prohibited images.

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