Methods dating rock art
When pressed, the expedition's Aboriginal guide explained their creation: Long ago Kujon a black bird, painted on the rocks.He struck his bill against the stones so that it Bleed, and with the blood he painted.The question of gender representation in Bradshaw art was illuminated recently by the discovery that figures are depicted as if they are facing into the rock face.
Based on stylistic characteristics, Walsh categorised two individual styles of ‘Bradshaw paintings’, which he named ‘Tassel’ and ‘Sash’ for dominant clothing features.
He also identified two variants, which he named ‘Elegant Action figures’ and ‘Clothes Peg figures’.
The distribution and stylistic range of these paintings is quite distinctive, and contrasts with the Wandjina tradition.
While more common in some areas, such as the sandstone regions of the west and central Kimberley, isolated examples have also been found in several scattered locations in the east, such as the Napier Ranges, and at the far eastern border of the Kimberley.
He expanded his records by studying superimposition and style sequences of the paintings to establish a chronology that demonstrated that Bradshaw art is found early in the Kimberley rock art sequence.
He proposed that the art dated to a period prior to the Pleistocene.Many of the ancient rock paintings maintain vivid colours because they have been colonised by bacteria and fungi, such as the black fungus, Chaetothyriales.The pigments originally applied may have initiated an ongoing, symbiotic relationship between black fungi and red bacteria.Engraving in the rock often follows the outlines of figures and may have served as a preliminary sketch which implies planning.Some faces of the figures are painted with anatomically correct features with enough detail to be considered portraits.In a detailed study of 66 Bradshaw panels, approximately 9% of the Bradshaw images have clearly been vandalized.