September 11, 2010 12:59 PM Subscribe
The elegant and sophisticated paintings found in the north west Australia, are claimed to be the oldest figurative paintings in the world, known as the Bradshaws, or Gwion Gwion.
posted by nickyskye (6 comments total)
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The Bradshaw Foundation website has an awesome online collection of rock and cave art paintings with extensive information
.Bradshaw rock paintings, or the Bradshaws are a distinctive style of rock art found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. They are named after the pastoralist Joseph Bradshaw who was the first European to discover them in 1891, whilst searching for grazing land for his cattle. The Bradshaws are also known as Gwion Gwion by the local Aboriginal people.
Debate rages as to who actually created the art. On one side of the debate is Grahame Walsh, an amateur archeologist and the leading expert on the Bradshaws with over 1.2 million images he has amassed over 21 years studying them. His hypothesis claims that the Bradshaws were painted by a culture predating present day Indigenous Australians. On the other side are the mainstream scientific community who believe that it is completely plausible that the art was produced by the local people. Controversy surrounds this debate as it is believed by some non-indigenous Australians that if the Bradshaw art is found not to be Aboriginal in origin, land rights claims by Indigenous Australians may be undermined. Regardless of whether the Bradshaw art is Aboriginal or exotic, "mainstream" Indigenous art is also found in the Kimberley region - proof that Indigenous people have inhabited and had cultural connection to the area."