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In a historic first for an Australian art magazine, Artlink was launched in the Netherlands in May 2010. The publication of the Blak on blak issue (written and edited entirely by Indigenous writers and editors) was the catalyst for the organisation of a major forum titled Blak on blak: the View of Self hosted by the AAMU, the Museum of Australian Aboriginal Art in Utrecht and the Framer Framed series of forums hosted by a large consortium of Dutch museums.
Blak on blak was launched by Professor Dr Gloria Wekker of the University of Utrecht, to great acclaim. The forum took the form of a debate led by the Director of Kosmopolis Nancy Jouwe, with speakers from Australia, Netherlands and Surinam including Dr Margo Neale (National Museum of Australia), Daniel Browning (producer/presenter of AWAYE on ABC Radio and guest editor of Blak on blak), Gordon Hookey, artist from Queensland, Tess Allas (University of NSW, assistant guest editor Blak on blak), Marcel Pinas (artist from Surinam) and Gillion Grantsaan (artist and curator, Netherlands/Denmark).
Speakers debated the range and public awareness of the recognition of the political realities of Indigneous art expression and in particular the coming of age of self representation in new politically charged urban Indigenous Australian art. The forum was concluded with a spirited presentation from Marianne Riphagen, PhD candidate at the University of Nijmegen, on the reception in the Netherlands of contemporary urban Indigenous art.
Here are some of these exciting presentations:
In another first for an Australian art magazine, Artlink is now on sale at two key European centres for art publications, the Tate Modern bookshop in London and the Athenaeum Bookshop in Amsterdam.
Travel to the forum and Blak on blak publication, including mentoring of guest editors, was assisted by QIAMEA (Queensland Indigneous Art Marketing and Export Agency) CAL (Copyright Agency Ltd), the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, Arts SA, and the VACS program of the Australian federal and state funding agencies), and the National Museum of Australia. We also thank the organisers of the Framer Framed series in the Netherlands, and the AAMU.