Listen Deeply, Let these Stories In
"Listen deeply, let these stories in is a jewel. Resplendent, moving, and fascinating, it is a perfect beginner's guide to Arrernte art and culture and a cultural document of unusual breadth at the same time, whether your interest lies in art, history, or linguistics. It is a delight to come across a book that offers you so many reasons to take it home with you, and promises so many varied hours of enjoyment." Will Owen - Review
In this beautifully illustrated book, renowned Eastern Arrernte painter Kathleen Kemarre Wallace tells stories of her life and the lives of her elders and ancestors that she learnt as a child and young woman. Biographical stories are interwoven with traditional storiesthat illuminate the origins and beliefs of Eastern Arrernte people, and call for respect for the ancient traditions of the altyerre spirits that brought Kathleen’s country into being.
Kathleen’s book charts the effect on a traditional hunter-gatherer people of contact with European settlers: the loss of language, culture and traditional way of life is gradually revealed through the story telling. Kathleen shares her culture with all readers, while maintaining traditional respect for her elders and her responsibilities of cultural stewardship. Her generosity in sharing her stories is a gift to the reader, and a unique insight into spiritual beliefs and cultural attachment to their country.
Kathleen is an exponent of the Keringke style of painting: intricate, richly coloured and complex with both Arrernte and personal symbols. Her unique graphic style is instantly recognisable; her book makes clear the fundamental cultural basis of her artworks and their relationship with her Arrernte world.
Kathleen’s knowledge of country, law and culture shines through in her words and mesmerising paintings.
To all the people I would say: “Come, listen to us, we will tell you our culture. Learn from us. That way we will all survive.
We share this country. We need to work together and learn from each other…” I hope you listen deeply and let these stories in. They…are for all time, for the old days, to help remember the old people, but also for the future and for young people now.”