Issue 37:2 | June 2017 | Indigenous_Trans Cultural
Indigenous_Trans Cultural
Issue 37:2 | June 2017
Issue 21:2 | June 2001 | Art and Childhood
Art and Childhood
Issue 21:2 | June 2001


The Masque Ball of Tracey Moffatt

One of Tracey Moffatt’s lasting cinematographic memories, as she told me, is of films with harbour scenes, of working ports, rough workmen, the coming and going of exotic people, fogs, and foghorns. Tracey Moffatt’s photographic and film work commissioned for the Australian Pavilion in Venice responds to this landscape of cinematic time.

Into the Transpocene: The future of Indigenous art

Black is the New White is Nakkiah Lui’s romantic comedy commissioned by the Sydney Theatre Company for the May/June 2017 season. It milks laughs from a stereotypical narrative of a privileged young black woman bringing her inappropriate boyfriend home to meet her parents. The twist—although not much of one these days—is that the boyfriend is white. Black is the New White is also the name of the 2007 autobiography by African American comic genius Paul Mooney. We can reach further back to the early 1990s: to Gordon Bennett’s sweet watercolours of black angels and his more ghoulish messenger between worlds, the large scarified Altered Body Print (Shadow Figure Howling at the Moon) (1994) with its mashed binaries and grotesque white/black, male/female, human/animal totemic‑like monster. Before Bennett there was Tracey Moffatt’s sweet black angel Jimmy Little on the royal telephone to heaven, an ironic serenade to her grim horror film, Night Cries (1989), which unsettled normative understandings of black/white relations with chilling effect.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye: The impossible modernist

Art critic Robert Hughes made the assessment that Aboriginal art was the last great art movement of the twentieth century. It started at the Aboriginal community called Papunya, in which Aboriginal men had been painting on canvas for the outside market with great success since the 1980s. The Papunya art style, as it became known, sometimes compared to forms of Western modernism—from abstract expressionism to minimalism and even conceptual art—presented a comparison that was rarely taken literally, although some critics of the 1987 Dreamings exhibition in New York did wonder if the Aboriginal artists had been appropriating New York art. But when it came to the late paintings of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, critics really did start to question the relationship between modernism and Western Desert painting, ascribing to her the genius and expressive freedom associated with the masters of Western modernism. 

Collisions: The Martu respond to Maralinga

On the cross‑cultural collaborations of filmmaker Lynette Wallworth working with Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and Curtis Taylor

Down Under World: Christian Thompson at the Pitt Rivers Museum

An emerging history of transcultural engagements in recent years is evident in the growing number of projects by Australian Indigenous artists working with collections held by British cultural institutions. From Judy Watson’s research at the British, Horniman and Science museums in the 1990s, to Daniel Boyd’s residency with the Natural History Museum and projects by Brook Andrew and Julie Gough at the Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, these Australian Indigenous artists have negotiated complex histories of colonial collecting practices, contemporary modes of museum display, issues of cultural ownership and repatriation, as well as the role of the artist as a new kind of researcher and interpreter of archives and cultural heritage. 

Indigenous perspectives on museum collections

I can remember the first time I was taken into a museum storeroom. I remember it being still, organised, open and unashamed. I could see countless rows of shelving stretching from the floor to a ceiling so high that the optical illusion it created masked its vastness. The air was unmoving, the smell musty and organic. When my eyes adjusted to what lay on these shelves I had trouble taking it all in: wood, feathers, stone, bark, ochre worked in countless combinations. I searched for the clues which would guide me to material from north‑western New South Wales, to my Father’s country, and my ngurrambaa (Yuwaalaraay) or “family land”. 

The Paradox of Autistic Art
Certain autistic children whose linguistic ability is virtually non-existent can draw natural scenes from memory with astonishing accuracy. In particular their drawings display convincing perspective. In contrast, normal children of the same preschool age group and even untrained adults draw primitive schematics or symbols of objects which they can verbally identify.
The Child in Photography
In the century and a half since photography allowed humanity an historical moment of self-consciousness - a way to see ourselves as never before - photographers have been drawn to recording youth, especially children. A child standing before the photographer's lens provided a dual perspective on humanity - at once eternally young and yet, clad in clothes to be soon outgrown, ephemeral. McFarlane looks to the work of Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Ian Dodd, Sebastio Salgado, Deborah Paauwe, Anne Ferran, Sandy Edwards, Jon Rhodes and Roger Scott.
Remembering Jesus: The Child in Australian Aboriginal Art
Andrew discusses the work of various Australian artists under a generic theme of the blakborg, a term he uses with regards to the re-creation of the blak body. A fleshy cyborg, much like the Star Trek Borg family, the blakborgacts as a symbol: alluding to the Western preoccupation with aliens and simultaneously reminding Europeans of their own alien status in the Australian landscape. The works of Julie Gough, Tracey Moffatt, Destiny Deacon, Bianca Beetson, John Packham, Les Midikuria, James Gleeson, Richard Billingham and Marc Quinn are here examined.
Children Who Hurt: A Film Made by Young People
Not a documentary, but an eloquent testimony, Hurt was made by 250 kids from five New South Whales country towns. After a series of workshops they shot, recorded, wrote and performed in this collage of vignettes, dramatised scenes, songs and memories, aided by writers and directors Philip Crawford and Matthew Priestly. Their stories are often unbelievably sad - what they make of them is intense, lyrical, stoic and heartbreaking. Hurt was made by the award-winning arts company BIGhART, whose brief is to pilot arts based projects designed to re-engage 'outsiders' or marginalised people with their community.
Play Things: Some Contemporary Artists and their Objects
The function and materiality of the art object, when investigated by artists, often evokes a childlike sense. Be they miniatures, process-related installations or large minimalist works, these objects call upon the viewer to look at them as if for the first time. As so much contemporary art retreats from theory and aims to locate itself squarely in the everyday, the art objects social function is also more assured, bringing the artist and the audience closer together. Paradoxically, this use-effect is best achieved by artists by emphasising the dysfunction of the object and some of those who best achieve this are Paul Saint, Stephen Birch, Jean Arp, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Tom Friedman, Robert Pulie, Simryn Gill, Mikala Dwyer and David Griggs.
Focus: No Man is an Island: A Two Part Reading
Radok here recognises the issue of nationality present in the work of German artist Nikolaus Lang, an artist who often visits Australia to make field trips, to research, to make art and to exhibit. Since his first visit as a participant in the 1979 Sydney Biennale, Lang has been collaborating with Aboriginal people, as his work strongly relates to the origins of art and the origins of the materials of art, often literally the pigments that form artworks. Parts I and II discuss these facts and some of the ideas imbedded in his collaborative works with Indigenous artists Dorrie Gibson, Andrew Gibson and John Turpie.
Teenage Riot: Representations of Adolescence in Contemporary Art
The child has always been a favoured subject for artists. Recent exhibitions both in Australia and internationally address the shift from a sanguine vision of childhood to alternative representations, where children are presented as desirable and desirous, menacing yet vulnerable, widely unpredictable and ultimately mysterious. Artistic works by Robert Gober, Ronnie Van Hout, Larry Clark, Katie Siegel, Justine Kurland, Anna Gaskell, Diane Arbus, Di Barrett, Mark McDean, Anne Ferran, Polixeni Papapetrou, Bill Henson, Pat Brissington, Tracey Moffatt, Deborah Paauwe, Mona Hatoum and Nic Nicosia all help to illuminate the complexities of adolescence, a subject of ambivalence wedged between contradictory discourses and spaces of transition.
Engaging a Young Audience at the Queensland Art Gallery
The Queensland Art Gallery's recent series of exhibitions aimed specifically at young children represents a dramatic shift in many of Australias leading art galleries to create a more stimulating and interactive space for children to visit. For children to be involved with the material present, the design of each exhibition is a critical factor with the height of an artwork being altered to allow children to easily view it, as well as the way the artwork is arranged in the space and importantly the use of colour. Some of the childrens exhibitions which have been held by the Queensland Art Gallery are located through this text, including a day at the beach, the Kid's APT and animals who think they are people.
Kidding Around: Children in the Visual Arts
Throughout the twentieth century the spontaneous, vibrant art of children has provided inspiration and insight to avant-garde artists the world over. Although artists and educators have acknowledged the potential of children's art and the importance of nurturing creativity for over a century, it has taken considerably longer for government and the arts infrastructure to realise the needs of young artists. Lindquist looks at some of the international and local initiatives fostering young artists, concluding that a greater respect and nurturing of child art via a shift in the priorities of the Australia Council and other arts funding bodies is essential.
Children's Art Program at Sydney Children's Hospital
The childrens art program at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, has revealed that exhibitions of children's art, in the context of a child-oriented environment, are at least as significant to their target audience as art by adult professionals. The children's art program is administered by a company called Identity, Environment and Art, which specialises in developing art and cultural programs, primarily in health facilities. The plan included commissioned artworks by professional artists, murals, interactive wall panels and integrated mosaics.
Sampling our Child-Friendly Museums
This text samples three innovative programs situated in Melbourne, Cairns and Canberra for kids of various ages. The Cairns Regional Gallery held an exhibition of lino prints by Torres Strait Islander artist Alick Tipoti which attracted 35 school bookings (over 500 children). The Children's Museum at Melbourne Museum opened in October 2000 and held the exhibition 123 Grow!, about the magic of how things, including ourselves, grow. The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra had a showing of student portraiture entitled Hearts/Heads: Headspace II in September 2001.
The Child Guides Program
One of the challenges facing galleries dealing with contemporary art is to persuade visitors to be open-minded about whats on display. All too often it's not the art that's the problem, but the context in which it is placed. Macgregor is here responding to an issue she feels strongly about, especially as it relates to the viewing of art amongst children. The Child Guides program was an initiative at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham which Macgregor was involved with. The program recruited children from local schools to guide visitors informally around the exhibition, and helped to enhance the childrens communicative skills, gain knowledge of a range of contemporary art practices and to develop a sense of self-importance.
Primary Non-Producers: The Arts in Crisis in Public Education
In this article Orchard is looking at the nature of art teaching in primary schools rather than focusing on the debate surrounding the value of arts learning and education. Although art has in the past decade become a formal part of the curriculum across Australia there is still a huge dearth of support material for teachers, particularly those in isolated areas. Orchard introduces some of the support programs which have been implemented in various schools, including the Department of Education & Training & Employment (DETE) and South Australian Living Artists (SALA) programs.
Polemic: Two Myths about Blue Poles
By now - fifty years after the painting was made and thirty years after if was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia - there are two well-established myths about Jackson Pollack's Blue Poles. Brook here outlines and discusses these, but draws particular attention to the myth that the celebrated museum exhibit called Blue Poles is intrinsically, and not merely by fleeting reputation, a great work of art.
The Tate goes modern
The Tate Modern opened in May 2000 to great fanfare and applause. The refurbished power station on the Thames now houses the international post-1900 art of the Tate collection. The public has rushed to visit with huge crowds enjoying the experience, but putting pressure on the facility. Critics have questioned the way the work has been arranged by theme rather than by school, chronology or geography.
Australia and Asia: Friends and Family
The past 10 years have seen the building of ties between Australians and Asians through the interactions occasioned by the three Asia-Pacific Triennial exhibitions in Brisbane. There are now many personal and binding friendships across the region which did not exist before. This changes our concept of 'region' significantly.
Geography, Indigeneity and Dissonance
Some of the many complex questions raised by the Asia-Pacific Triennials relate to where artists originate from, how they relate to indigenous issues of their country, and the possibility of dissonant voices being heard through the exhibition which would not be tolerated in their country of origin. This is increasingly important in an Australian political climate which has downplayed our relations with the Asian region.
Myths and Histories: A Vietnamese Story
The inside story of the first selection of a Vietnamese artist for the Asia-Pacific Triennial. Vietnamese artists in the early 1990s were free to make art of their choice, as the grip of state-run culture began to relax. The significance of the resulting elegiac romantic paintings was lost on some critics of the Triennial who did not appreciate this history. The curatorial structuring of the Triennial helped to go beyond the official line of ministries of culture.
Asian Engagements: Tubes of Bamboo
In this brief article Turner focuses on the Queensland Art Gallerys Asia-Pacific Triennial. From the beginning, the Asia-Pacific Triennial was conceived as more than an art exhibition. It was equally about creating a network of contacts with artists and art institutions, a research base and permanent collection of contemporary Asian art and a forum for discussion of the art of the region. Artists discussed include Geeta Kapur, Marian Pastor Roces, Xu Bing, Santiago Bose, John Frank Sabado and Dadang Christanto.
Dragon seeds and flea circuses: some moments and movements in contemporary Chinese art
Post-revolutionary China was a time of testing boundaries of official tolerance and experimentation with the newly accessible Western art ideas. The first art exhibitions were held and groups formed, as artists started to realise they were not, as Mao said, just the hair on the skin of socialism. Resistance to the old political order and a deliberate courting of Western buyers with post-Mao imagery has to give way to finding an original voice.
Boyd Webb
Curated by Jenny Harper Brisbane City Gallery 8 March- 29 April 2001
The Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award
Werribee Park, Victoria 21 March - 13 May 2001
East of Somewhere
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney 10 March - 29 April
Liminal Narratives
Zofia Sleziak 31 March - 8 April 2001 The Chapel Adelaide
The Archibald Prize
Art Gallery of NSW March 2001
Art of the Sacred Heart
Arts Project Australia Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide 31 January - 25 February 2001
Anatomy of a Metaphor
Madeleine Kelly Modus Gallery Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 6 - 22 April 2001
Myth and Machines
Andy Jones Moonah Art Centre Tasmania 16 - 28 February 2001
Tense Past - Narratives of Gaps and Silences
Julie Gough Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart 17 - 23 February 2001
Promised Land: Nien Schwarz
Perth International Arts Festival 2001 event The Church Gallery, Claremont
Lace - Contemporary Perspectives
Anne Farren (Aus), Suzumi Noda (Japan), Pam Gaunt (Aus), Michael Brennand-Wood (UK), Pilar Rojas (Spain) CRAFTWEST Centre for Contemporary Craft Perth International Arts Festival event. 7 February - 24 March

Touring to Kalgoorlie Art Centre July 2001 Interstate and regionally in 2002
Mildura Palimpsest #4
Mildura, various sites 19 April - 20 May 2001
Geoffrey Goldie: A Survey Show: 1968-2000
Drawings, Paintings, Etchings,Set & Costume Designs Gipps Street Gallery, Melbourne Nov/Dec 2000
Male Nude: A Private View
Curator: Eugene Barilo von Reisberg Charles Nodrum Gallery Jan/Feb 2001
Another Landscape: History/Life/Language
Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane 16 March - 29 April 2000
Beware! Art Attack from Indonesia
Ivan Dougherty Gallery 10 March - 27 August
Akihabara TV2
Command N, Tokyo 16 - 29 March 2000
My Hands are tied
Performance/Installation by Brigita Ozolins Foyer Installation Space, Hobart 10 - 25 March 2000
The Same Sky
Irene Briant CAST Gallery 10 March - 2 April 2000
Art Gallery of Western Australia 5 February - 15 April 2000
Visual Arts Program
Adelaide Festival 2000 3 -19 March
Kimono as Canvas
Gallery East or 2000 Perth International Arts Festival 12 February - 5 March and touring for two years
25 Songs on 25 Lines or Words on Art Statement for Seven Voices and Dance...
Joe Felber, Elliot Gyger and Lucy Guerin University of South Australia Art Museum 6 April - 6 May 2000
Polemic: Why did they Cancel Sensation?
Brook discusses what he believes to be the two main problems with the cancellation of the Sensation exhibition at the National Gallery - to locate the issue and to restore some gravity, so that instead of the noise increasing with distance from the issue, it diminishes. The key figure discussed is the Director of the NGA, Dr Kennedy with the notion of Quality dominating the content of the article.
Beyond Language
Although often disguised as an innocent communication tool, language is defined, and, in turn, defines the parameters of all aspects of life, from the most personal and private to socio-political conditions and power structures. Giakoumi discusses this fact in relation to artist's experiences of living and working in countries where language barriers are apparent. Four works by artists Shigeaki Iwai, Xu Bing, Kim Young-Jin and Lee Mingwei are closely examined through this text.
The Arts of Diplomacy
Manton looks at the relationship between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the art world in Australia, one that seems to have been difficult, particularly since the 1970s when the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board gave way to a National Gallery and an Australian Council for the Arts. Furthermore this text examines the growing relations between Australian and Asian art communities during the second half of the 20th century.
Expanding Horizons: Art from Taiwan
This article looks at the recent history of cultural exchange between Australia and Taiwan and briefly examines the background of the shifts occuring within the Taiwanese art scene from an Australian context. Furthermore it examines some of the continuities and changes in the late 1990s with a particular emphasis on the works by artists Wu Tien-Chang and Wu Mali included in the Second and Third Asia-Pacific Triennial.
Korean Contemporary Art in the 1990s
Korean art in the nineties experienced an era of unprecedented freedom and a remarkable upsurge in visual expression. Ahn looks at the progression of Korean art and politics during the later years of the 20th century and at a few of the central art figures: Kim Myung-hye, Choi Jeong-hwa, Kim Jun, Kim Soo-ja, Han Myung-Ok, Choi Jae-eun, Kim Young-jin and Lee Bul.
Radicalising Tradition: Painting in Pakistan
The teaching of miniature painting has, since the 1980s when it became a part of the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, become a highly respected and important traditional genre. The role of miniature painting also came to represent many of the anxieties that entangled this postcolonial society in search of its own identity. Hashmi examines the importance of this artistic form with reference to the works of Nahid Fakhruddin, Shahzia Sikander, Imran Qureshi, Tanzeen Qayyum, Talha Rathore, Aisha Khalid and Nusra Latif.
Shifts and Transitions in Indonesian Art and Society
This article looks at the East Timor crisis and the attempted boycott of the APT 3 at the Queensland Art Gallery subsequent to Indonesian artists participating in the event. Marianto examines this in relation to the shifting powers in Indonesia at the time from the ruling of President Habibie to the fourth leader Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) and presents a list of what could be considered seven strands of artistic concern within Indonesia: The critical group, alternative art, art for art's sake, conventional art, marginalised individuals, media-influenced art and feminist artists.
The Enigma of Japanese Contemporary Art
Japanese culture at the end of the twentieth century was at an intersection of past, present and future. Exhibitions including Against Nature at the Grey Art Gallery in New York (1989), Japanese Ways, Western Means at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane (1989), A cabinet of Signs at the Tate Gallery Liverpool (1991) and Zones of Love at the MCA Sydney (1991) showed for the first time the complex and urban basis of Japanese art in the 1980s, a time of considerable transition in Japanese art practice. Featured artists included Shigeo Toya, Kimio Tsuchiya, Yasamasa Morimura, Takashi Murakami, Emiko Kasahara, Masato Nakamura, Yukinori Yanagi, Katsushige Nakahashi and Tatsuo Miyajima.
Modern Asian Art
John Clark, Sydney: Craftsman House, 1998,
344 pp., 48 colour plates, hardcover, ISBN 90-5704-04-17, $85
Anxious Nation: Australia and the Rise of Asia 1859-1939

David Walker, University of Queensland Press, 1999, 312pp, paperback RRP $29.95

Cheo Chai-Hiang Thoughts and Processes (Rethinking The Singapore River)
Cecily Briggs, Singapore art Museum & Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, 2000, 132pp RRP $40
Inside Out: New Chinese Art
Gao Minglu (ed), California Press 1998 RRP c.$90