Tyranny of paint by dots

ARTS Songlines and Dreamings Wattis Fine Art Until March 12 IN this exhibition of paintings by Australian aboriginal artists, Snowy Harris's Man's Dreaming is an abstract work largely composed of coloured circular dots of paint, pleasing but not more informative.

The background is the place where two snakes mated and one was killed by a group of men who ate it. The blue lizard, enemy of snakes, ran away.

I don't doubt this scenario was in the artist's mind. But learning that doesn't in the slightest way assist me to appreciate this painting.

The same is true of most of the works shown. From these immaculate canvasses mostly done with multitudes of regular dots, patterns of more or less interesting appearance are made - scarcely any of them riveting.

Few of the painters escape from this tyranny of dots. Ada Bird Pettyarre manages some curvilinear broad lines more or less horizontal to similar vertical ones of flat colour.

The most interesting is Eunice Napangarde, whose work is subtle in colour and more pleasing in its suggestion of the third dimension.