Issue 43:3 | Warltati / Summer 2023 | INDIGENOUS_Working Voices
INDIGENOUS_Working Voices
Issue 43:3 | Warltati / Summer 2023
Issue 42:3 | Warltati / Summer 2022  | INDIGENOUS__
Issue 42:3 | Warltati / Summer 2022
Issue 41:1 | April 2021 | Fashion. Performance. Industry.
Fashion. Performance. Industry.
Issue 41:1 | April 2021
Issue 40:3 | September 2020  | The Art of Compassion
The Art of Compassion
Issue 40:3 | September 2020
Issue 30:3 | September 2010 | Art in the Public Arena
Art in the Public Arena
Issue 30:3 | September 2010
Issue 25:2 | June 2005 | Remote
Issue 25:2 | June 2005


The Tennant Creek Brio: Taking care of business

In the rapidly expanding literature on the Tennant Creek Brio, writers have touched upon a decidedly ‘masculine’ quality in the group’s work. John McDonald calls the Brio’s work ‘incredibly aggressive’ and ‘raw’ and ‘wild.’ Erica Izett, the Brio’s regular curator and greatest advocate, refers to their work as a form of insurgent ‘guerrilla theatre.’ These masculinist tendencies should be of little surprise. The Brio started in 2016 as an art therapy group as part of Strong Men, Strong Families through funding from the Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation facilitated by painter Rupert Betheras. It grew to have about twenty men involved before moving to the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre in 2017, where it was declared an artist collective.

#IMadeMyClothes: The Ethics and Practices of Home Dressmaking

“Look at that: you made it”
Alanna Okun, The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater.

I learned to sew as a young child. Sitting in my mother’s lap, I picked up the delicate and confident touch and precision to snip threads and manipulate cloth as she made clothes for herself, my sister and me. Before I could read and write, I was adept at using a needle and thread to form my creative visions in the three-dimensional materiality of cloth. Mum taught me to cut, alter and mend to make efficient use of materials and garments, a make-do-and-mend sensibility that she learned from her own mother, raised during the Depression in rural South Australia. At my mother’s side, I also came to understand and express my sartorial sensibility and identity through the garments I made. Mine is a common story. 

Sarah Rodigari: Redressing the vernacular

“Beauty is a curse and I’ve got it.”

Effie is the most beloved character from the 1989 Australian TV sitcom Acropolis Now, which is set in a fictional café of the same name. Her character is a defiant assertion of “wog” ways: her high hair and incessant gum-chewing are flamboyant stereotypes, but her character, and those of her castmates, were then new to Australian TV. Acropolis Now, a spin-off from the highly successful stage play Wogs out of Work, dislodged the Anglo-centric narratives of Australian comedy TV. The show has been credited with popularising the term “skippy” or “skip”, used by Greek, Italian and other non-Anglo Australians to refer to Anglo-Celtic Australians since the 1970s. 

Cigdem Ayedemir

How do you haunt a ghost? 

For the most part, this is not a rhetorical question because, simply put, a ghost can’t be haunted: it is the medium of haunting itself. The space-time paradigm of the terrestrial won’t allow for it. Haunting, as conceived in the vernacular imagination, demarcates an activity reserved solely for “the unhallowed dead of the modern project”, those improperly buried inheritors and victims of repressed, unresolved violence and injury—those whose lives were stalled and silenced. So by virtue of this logical impasse, you can’t technically haunt a ghost. 

Flesh after fifty: Changing images of older women in art

When I was eleven, I assumed the role of keeper of the family archives: with both parents working and me the younger sibling, I probably had the most time on my hands. But I also felt a strong compulsion to guard mementos from family holidays and special occasions, including images. With the solid moral universe of a child that age, I wanted to capture the “true” version of events, preferring candid to posed photographs. I was renowned for gonzoing formal photo opps by pulling a face or kicking out an inopportune leg. You can imagine my outrage when I discovered my carefully compiled albums had been raided. Every “unflattering” photo of my mother had been removed, leaving virtually no trace of her. When confronted, my mother was unrepentant and refused to return the photos, claiming she had destroyed them as was her right. I was so angry that she would presume to interfere in our collective family record and incensed at what I saw as her hypocrisy and inability to face “the truth”—that she was ageing. Looking back, I have a great deal more compassion for my mother’s response. But this poignant memory makes me reflect: how many other family archives suffered a similar fate (let alone in the digital era)? Was internalised shame at work? And, what counter‑truth was my mother asserting?

Regimes of care: Concerning the afterlife of artists

I submit to my stocktake shifts, become their restless subject, sighting, countersigning, pitting numbers and images against objects. “Randomised”, my colleague tells me, from an appropriate social distance. A performance of witnessing without expectation (at least on my part) which is why his appearance was closer to a manifestation.

Stephen Benwell’s little statue. With a rush of feeling, he wholly punctured my procedural glumness. His tender realness, eyes fluttering upward to a neighbouring stoneware pot, he chastises the unimaginatively robust seventies ceramic for what it might have been. His twenty-something centimetres of tragicomic beauty resolute against the silent grey of our diligence. Not just present but a presence of self-elegiac composure. A resistance.

Between worlds: Belinda Mason and Blur Projects

We do not see like a camera. A camera registers everything reflecting light into its lens, but human perception is selective. It is an economy of resources that has evolved over millions of years so that now, neuroscientists tell us, only about twenty per cent of what we perceive visually from moment to moment is actually passing through our eyes. The rest is constructed from memory and expectation. Our experience of the world is a product of interactions between abstract top-down visual memory templates and bottom-up sensory ones. Since the former is subjective, we rarely perceive those things that we fail to consider. Sometimes, to understand the bigger picture, we must squint our eyes and soften our focus; to concentrate less on the things we seek and become conscious of the interplay in how things blend together.

Elizabeth Woods: There is going to be a wedding and you are all invited
Elizabeth Woods' art practice has for many years revolved around the relationship between place, artist and community and what arises from their connection to each other. Marrying a tree is its latest manifestation.
The Fourth Plinth
In Antony Gormley’s living portrait 'One and Other' for 100 days, from 6 July to 14 October 2009, 2400 randomly selected, otherwise unextraordinary, individuals continuously occupied the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square for an hour at a time.
The Meandering River: Slowing Down and Keeping Going
The notion of public art has been shifting over the years to include hopeful new models for change in a time of uncertainty - festivals, the temporal, the long term developmental and experimental thinking about how art can modify and influence the public realm.
Echigo-Tsumari: Public Art as Regenerating Force
Janet Maughan travelled to the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial in September 2009. With Stephanie Britton she interviewed the indefatigable Fram Kitagawa, Director of both the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial [ETAT] and of the new Niigata Water and Land Art Festival in the seaport of Niigata, and wove his words around the experience of seeing outstanding art in the unusual and delightful surroundings of the Japanese countryside.
Who Stole the Southern Cross? A Cautionary Tale for Public Art
Curator and cultural visionary Kevin Murray asks what happened to Southern Cross Station, once Spencer Street Station now lost under a morass of advertising. Where is the public art?
Torches in the Night: The Odyssey of Craig Walsh
'Craig Walsh Digital Odyssey' is a national touring Project presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art in association with the artist. With his partner artist Hiromi Tango Walsh is also making complementary collaborative works called 'The Home Project".
A Public Spectacle: Next Wave Risks All
Next Wave: No Risk Too Great, directed by Jeff Khan, took place in Melbourne from 13 – 30 May 2010.
Strangers and the Slow Laneway Experience
Kate Warren examines Melbourne's laneways and the many way artists have used them to re-energise and re-familiarise local audiences with their urban environment. Artists mentioned are Sarah Rodigari and Tim Webster, Troy Innocent, Matt Blackwood, John Alexander Borley, Anthony McInneny, Sue McCauley and Keith Deverell, and QingLan Huang.
Social Conscience, Migration, Rivers and Oceans: Virginia King
New Zealand sculptor Virginia King is an artist who has long recognised the changing nature of public art and the part it can play in raising awareness and social conscience.
Solar Systems and Winter Glow: Cameron Robbins, Alexander Knox
Anna Zagala looks at two striking public artworks in Melbourne, Cameron Robbins and Christopher Lansell's The Solar System down at the St Kilda Foreshore and Alexander Knox's kinetic light work Maxims of behaviour on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Sts in the UBD of Melbourne.
Synergy Tasmania-Style - Ocean, mountains and windpower meet boardwalks, public art and a new museum
The Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park (GASP!) project on the outskirts of Hobart is under construction just two kilometres from Australia’s largest private freely accessible art gallery the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), opening in January 2011.
Self in the City: Launceston Living Laneways
Public artworks surrounding the Regional Arts Australia National Conference and Festival held in Launceston in August 2010 set the cat among the pigeons.
Street Talk with Mary Lou Pavlovic
Juliette Peers interviews Mary Lou Pavlovic Mary Lou Pavlovic to find out how one becomes a de facto public institution? MLP: Just do it. Don’t worry so much about acceptance into a very institutionalised dysfunctional system...Worry about being creative and alive on your own terms. Put yourself in any exhibition you feel you should be in. You may not get the institutional rewards but lets face it – they ain’t that great here in Aussie land anyway.
Royal Mail vs McQueen: A very public memorial for the dead
Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen’s recent work 'Queen and Country' (2003-2010) overwhelmingly embodies the complexities and possibilities for memorial-making and public art today.
17th Biennale of Sydney, The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age
Curator: David Elliott MCA, Cockatoo Island, Botanic Gardens Artspace, AGNSW, Pier 2/3, Opera House 12 May – 1 August 2010
17th Biennale of Sydney, The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age
17th Biennale of Sydney The Beauty of Distance: songs of survival in a precarious age Curator: David Elliott MCA, Cockatoo Island, Botanic Gardens, Artspace, AGNSW, Opera House, Pier 2/3 12 May – 1 August 2010
Melbourne >< Brisbane: Punk, Art and After
Curator: David Pestorius Ian Potter Museum of Art University of Melbourne 24 February - 16 May 2010
Your Reference to More Gracious Living: Bevan Honey
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) 25 June – 26 August 2010
Why You Paint Like That: Marshall Bell
Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane 26 March - 17 April 2010
A Tradigital Survey
A Tradigital Survey Curators: Kirsten Rann, Gina Kalabishis Level 17 Artspace, 300 Flinders St, Victoria University, Melbourne 29 June – 16 July 2010
Flight of a Bird: Life in Performance: Linda Lou Murphy
Curators: Keith Giles, Ali Baker and Yoko Kajio SASA Gallery, Adelaide 6 April - 7 May 2010
Pacific Jewellery
Curator: Maud Page Foyer Cabinet, GOMA, Brisbane 1 May - 4 July 2010
Let's Make the Water Turn Black
Curator: Mat Ward June 5 – 26 2010 INFLIGHT Gallery, Hobart
Linda Banazis, Penny Bovell, P. James Bryans, Susanna Castleden, Sue Codee, Cat Critch, Rebecca Dagnall, Jo Darbyshire, Mark Datodi, Annabel Dixon, Anna Dunnill, Eva Fernandez, Brendan Hibbert, Harry Hummerston, Little Design Horse, Clare McFarlane, Trevor6025/Emma McPike, Toogarr Morrison, Philippa Nikulinsky, Perdita Phillips, Gregory Pryor, Alex Spremberg, Marzena Topka, David Turley, Paul Uhlmann, Caitlin Yardley. Curators: Thelma John, P. James Bryans Gallery Central Central Institute of Technology, Perth 12 - 31 July 2010
Curator: Domenico de Clario Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Queen’s Theatre, Mercury Cinema, Botanic Gardens, Adelaide 28 May – 26 June 2010
Shaw Hendry (1963-2010)

Vale Shaw Hendry (1963-2010) The image on the front of the catalogue said it all – Hermano Rojo, ukulele in hand, bowing to his audience.

The Larrakia Legacy of Billiamook
Larrakia people bore the brunt of colonial expansion in the Northern Territory when Darwin was settled by beraguds (white people) in 1869. Gary Lee writes of Billiamook, one of the first Larrakia to interact with the settlers and the first Aboriginal artist to have his work exhibited and recognised as art.
Under the Skin
The Aboriginal community of Balgo, situated on the cusp of the Tanami and Great Sandy Desert is a melting pot for contemporary Aboriginal art and culture. This article examines a group of white women artists and their various bodies of work which grew from their time spent at Balgo.
Just Really Out There
Steve Fox's job involves regular 1400km round trips from Uluru to some of the most remote communities in Australia. He reports on a typical four-day excursion in the Maruku troopcarrier.
Looking Forward Looking Back: in the East Kimberly
Marrying visual art, dance and inspirational rhetoric has been one of the hallmarks of the Jirrawun Artists Co-operation operating out of Kununarra. These traditional people have been at the forefront of contemporary political debates and Indigenous art practice. Cath Bowdler follows the story of Jirrawun Artists Co-operation from its inception in 1998 to the present day. A non-government funded body, Pro bono partnerships with the corporate and private sector.
Kuninjku Modernism
Kuninjku Modernism pays respect to the wellspring of the Indigenous art movement and the many artists of Western Arnhem Land, furthermore exploring the several countries or nations of this large civic nation.
Looking Elsewhere: Asia at the Top End
The top end has a distinctly Asian flavour not only because of its cultural heritage prior to 1880s but also because of the significant East Timorese connection. This article looks at the Northern Territorys strong and visionary commitment to cultural exchange with Indonesia and the increasing Asian character of Darwin's rapidly changing population.
Sitting Down with Indigenous Artists
Erica Izett explores the cultural convergence between Australias indigenous and non-indigenous people over the past few decades and the rewarding implications it is having on Australias artistic and cultural practice and awareness.
Bush Techies and Secret Data Business
Caroline Farmers position at 24HR Art, the Northern Territorys Centre for Contemporary Art required an involvement with projects specifically aimed to help indigenous artists acquire new media skills. What she found in the Territory however required her to think in an entirely new way. Farmer discusses some of her experiences with her new found traditionally and technologically aligned environment.
Art at the Frontier: Franck Gohier
Frank Gohier has distinguished himself as a resident Darwin artist whose work as a painter, sculptor, printmaker and teacher reflects a different perspective of the far northern - one based on lived experience. Addresses the impact of the indigenous community on his Anglo perspective art.
From Fregon to Srinigar and Back
Kaltjiti Arts is a community owned arts centre in Fregon. A cross-cultural project between two groups of community artists based in South Australia's remote and traditional Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands and in Srinigar, the turbulent capital of Kashmir is based on the combining of these two isolated and very different cultures via their arts and traditions.
Neverland vs. Reality: How to Sustain an Art Practice in the Territory
Historically, people in the Territory have viewed southeners with suspicion, often characterising them as missionaries or carpetbaggers. Some emerging artists here are beginning to question these attitudes and are starting to take advantage of the financial and critical lifelines that the south has to offer. Bronwyn Wright and Tobias Richardson are two who have engaged energetically with southerners and achieved high levels of recognition.
Making the Gospel Their Own
Eastern Arrernte Catholics at Ltentye Apurte, the former Santa Teresa Catholic mission east of Alice Springs, are making the local church and liturgy a ground for telling their recent history and reflecting their ancient yet evolving traditions. A mural project was initiated by a local non-aboriginal woman Cait Wait in 2002 with the help of eight neophyte artists.
Women's Business by Remote
In the past two decades the face of Australian art practice has been changed immeasurably by a renewed focus on the culture of Indigenous people and the efflorence of Aboriginal art. This article looks at the work of three non-Indigenous artists who worked in places regarded as remote and developed art practices through engagement with Aboriginal people.
Paji Honeychild Yankarr
Paji Honeychild Yankarr 1914-2004
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