Breasts, Bodies, Art: Central Desert Women’s Paintings and the Politics of the Aesthetic Encounter

Jennifer L Biddle


This paper is concerned with a culturally distinctive relationship between breasts and contemporary art from Central Desert Aboriginal women. Contra to the dominant interpretation of these paintings as representations of ‘country’—cartographic ‘maps’ of the landscape, narratives of Dreaming Ancestors, flora, fauna, species—my argument is that these works bespeak a particular breasted experience and expression, a cultural way of doing and being in the world; what I want to call a breasted ontology.


breasts; bodies; art; Indigenous art; contemporary art; breasted ontology

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