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Visual perception and Aboriginal art

Women & Science Lecture 4 with Em Prof Barbara Gillam FRSN

Aboriginal painting now has a worldwide reputation. However it has largely been regarded as conceptual rather than perceptual with a very strong emphasis on the stories depicted.

In the 4th Women and Science lecture, Barbara Gillam will examine the innovative perceptual skills of Aboriginal bark painters, especially in depicting figure-ground and occlusion. She will also discuss the visual meaning of this art and its interaction with conceptual meanings.

Out of respect for cultural practices, we will not be featuring the bark paintings referenced in Barbara’s presentation in any of our promotional materials.

Barbara Gillam was educated at the University of Sydney and ANU. After two years as a lecturer in the UK, she moved to New York with academic positions at Columbia and SUNY. She returned to Australia in 1987 to take up the Chair of Psychology at the University of NSW, where she is still a professor.

Presented by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series will examine the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

Bookings essential.



280 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Thomas Keneally Centre


Thursday 18 July 2019 from 6pm to 7.30pm

6pm drinks, 6.30pm-7.30pm lecture


SMSA & Royal Society Members and Fellows: $15.00
Guests and general entry: $20.00

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