Glasgow Tackles Global Beliefs

Ann Hills on Scotland's Museum of Religion

Britain's first Museum of Religion - inevitably controversial - has been attacked verbally and physically, but now, after its official opening in Glasgow by the Princess Royal in June, it should come in for praise. 'We knew when we started that this museum would be contentious. Our aim is to make people think, and be aware of the issues', said Vincent Taggart, publicity officer for Glasgow's museums. Not content with their rich array of exhibits, the curators are scanning the world for additional displays.

Since last autumn Tamara Lucas has spent weeks in Australia researching the aboriginal communities and watching the progress of dreamtime paintings. Now the paintings are appearing at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in an exhibition 'Dreamtime: Aboriginal Art'.

At Yuendumu, 300 km northwest of Alice Springs, Tamara's study of Central Desert paintings by Warlpiri artists, included a bush trip to sacred sites and recording the songlines sung by Aboriginal artists. 'The notion of religion and Dreamtime is inseparable from daily Aboriginal life, and art acts as a tool for reproducing and teaching both insiders and outsiders about beliefs', she says.

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