White face: Blak mask

Welcome to the surrealistic world of a contemporary Aboriginal artist or Aboriginal curator. Where to begin? What can one say? Where did we come from? What is this place we're now at? And where the hell are we being led? Has there been a change in real terms or is the appearance and acclaim of Aboriginal art merely, as many Aboriginal people feel, just a “smoke and mirrors” trick to disguise an inaction if not regression in Aboriginal affairs – a BLAK mask covering a white Australian face?

The last edition of Artlink was titled “Remote” and sought to discuss the art created in Australia’s more physically remote regions. There is of course remote and “remote”. Where is the centre? Really, here in the North, or in the South East? I was invited to write something on remote north Queensland for this edition of Artlink but declined because in fact I had never been there. I live in Brisbane. I did suggest two other Aboriginal writers who had more experience of this region, one of whom was published.

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National Gallery Australia Samstag NAVA Mandorla Art Award