Author

Johanna Koons

Date of Award

2012

First Advisor

Mileta Roe

Second Advisor

Wendy Shifrin

Abstract

Songlines are the unmarked trails that span across Australia physically and culturally connecting the Aboriginal tribes. When traveling the Songlines, the Aboriginal Australians sing the songs of the “Dreamtime,” their mythology. These songs mark the trails. Each landmark and even the space between landmarks, has a special significance within the Dreamtime and song.

I first learned of the Songlines during my semester abroad in Australia. At the time, my life was disjointed and confusing; I did not know how to move forward in my art practice and was struggling to find inspiration. The Songlines became a format through which I could contextualize my life; each defining experience in my life became a landmark, and each transition between became a trail. To “sing” my landscape, I illustrated the “Songline” I had created. My thesis became the context in which to explore the Aboriginal Australian Songlines and my own life trajectory in order to expand my creative potential.

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