At lunch with a journalist yesterday, we discussed aboriginal art and footballers. I recalled being at an exhibition looking at an aboriginal painting that seemed to change before my eyes. The curator asked what I thought. I said I was reminded of the Krakouer brothers. She did not know them, so I explained that they were aboriginal footballers who just saw things and did things that were beyond us white people.
We discussed the paintings of Minnie Pwerle. I have a fine one here. They are collections of rows of semi-circles in about five different colours. I said that I look at it a lot, and that I suspect that instinctively the artist may have arranged the colours very much after the Golden Rule or Ratio (sometimes called Fibonacci), which was applied by Jeffrey Smart. A tutor at Oxford had explained how Verdi had apparently arrived at the same result in the last act of Othello, around the kisses that come before and after the death of Desdemona. The class was of the view that this effect was probably instinctive rather than mathematical design. So it was with the Krakouers.
By chance, when I turned the TV on last night, it was on The Winners from the past. North Melbourne played South Melbourne in the second round in 1982. What got to me were the ludicrous hot pants on the boys. But the Krakouers put on a show kicking seven between them. And the best part is that they were both in the studio to watch it. I was aware that one had got into some trouble, but both were there looking fit and well, and not in any trouble, more than thirty years on.
I found it the show very uplifting. They slowed down one clip. The ball was free in a pack. One brother could see that the other could get to it, and set off briskly to offer him a lead. The other got to the ball, and instead of grabbing it and passing it, he just bunted the ball with a closed fist about twenty-five yards so that it just came in front of his brother on the lead. He then just gathered it in and after three or four steps slotted a goal on an acute angle. It was pure magic or consummate artistry – a joy to watch. They could do things, in footy and in art, that we whites just cannot do.
The other good news is that Chris Wallace-Crabbe and I are moving solidly in our book on writing and thinking – the title and a few other things are yet to be settled, but more on this later.