Issue 32:2 | June 2012
Editors: Stephanie Radok and Daniel Browning.
The second annual mega-issue surveys new developments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts to drive polemical discussions around Australia’s national identity, brutal history of colonisation and dispossession of the rights of Indigenous peoples that persist today in the mainstream media and government policy.
In this issue
Editorial: ®ECLAIMED closing the gap of radical apathy
Daniel Browning takes a long hard look at the gap of apathy in Australia.
Editorial: Making history
Stephanie Radok takes the temperature of Aboriginal art and history in 2012.
The Ballad of Jimmy Governor
Emeritus Indigenous curator Djon Mundine wrote this essay on the occasion of a production of Posts in the Paddock a play about Jimmy Governor by the company My Darling Patricia. The performance included members of the both families involved. Mundine addresses questions of familial and national forgiveness.
What lies buried on my land rises
Nyoongar artist Dianne Jones returned to York in Western Australia where her people come from and researched its tragic Aboriginal history.
Culture Warriors as cultural diplomacy
Senior lecturer at the College of Fine Arts (CoFA), University of New South Wales, Gail McDonald analyses the exhibition Culture Warriors, the first National Indigenous Art Triennial curated by Brenda L. Croft, that travelled to Washington in 2009. McDonald argues that, rather than diplomatic blandness, real political confrontation was present in the exhibition.
A place of our own
This conversation between curator Hetti Perkins and co-editor Daniel Browning looks at Perkins call for a National Institution, or Centre, of Indigenous Art, which might become, as she puts it, “a living space that breathes culture”.
Artefacts of authenticity
Artist and lecturer Garry Jones is undertaking a Phd at the Australian National University School of Art in Canberra. In this article he reveals some of his investigations of Aboriginal artefacts in museum collections and questions notions of authenticity, reclamation and reinvigoration of the past in contemporary Aboriginal art.
Ancestral memory: out of the shadows
University of Melbourne Research Fellow Fran Edmonds along with Victorian artists Lee Darroch, Maree Clarke and Vicki Couzens looks at the story of Aboriginal art in Victoria as a determined reclamation of the past, a cross-generational celebration in the present and a visionary guide for the future.
For architecture and country
Torres Strait Islander Kevin O'Brien, who is commissioning and directing an independent exhibition called 'Finding Country' at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 running from August to 25 November 2012, writes about an Aboriginal architecture that is not about buildings shaped like native animals.
The elephant in the room: public art in Brisbane
Artist-activist Fiona Foley recounts a recent incident of the commissioning of a public art work for Kurilpa (place of the kuril or native water rat). Kurilpa is the cultural precinct where GOMA is located. Foley imagines works by prominent Queensland Aboriginal artists dotted along that place.
Tandanya: the case for home
The National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, known as Tandanya, was established in 1989 in Adelaide. Philip Watkins, Artistic and Cultural Director of Tandanya, 2006-2011, said: “This is Tandanya’s role – to show our world through our eyes, to tell our stories and to sing our songs with our voices.” Curator, educator and writer Sara White reviews Tandanya's 23 years of art and asks "Does Australia need more Tandanyas?"
Big wave: Desert Country
Legendary curator John Kean looks at three recent large exhibitions of Aboriginal art - Tjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert Art, Desert Country and Living Water, and questions whether the same spirit sings in all of them.
Sitting & connecting: Goulburn Art Class 2-0-1-1
Goulburn Class 2-0-1-1 was an exhibition curated by Djon Mundine at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery of work made by prisoners at the local Correction Centre in response to ten one day workshops in the prison by seven Aboriginal artists whose work was also in the show. Writer and editor Maurice O'Riordan reviews the exhibition and more importantly the processes it involved.
Reviewing Our Mob: A state-wide celebration of South Australian Indigenous art
Our Mob is a state-wide celebration of South Australian Indigenous art held annually at the Adelaide Festival Centre since 2006. Curator Susan Jenkins who worked on it for three years from 2009-2011 analyses what works about Our Mob and what the future might be.
On the ground with Our Mob in 2011
Terry Cleary was the Statewide Indigenous Community Artists Development (SICAD) Program Manger with Ananguku Arts and Culture from 2009-2011. He reflects on the potential power of Our Mob when it works.
Long Way Home: A celebration of 21 years of Yunggorendi First Nations Centre
Yunggorendi First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research at Flinders University, celebrated 21 years of operation in 2011 with an exhibition of work selected by staff and students from the collection of Flinders University Art Museum. Artist Ali Gumillya Baker critically reviews selected works in the exhibition and the issues they raise.
No Place without Other Places: Spinifex Arts Project at fifteen years
University of Western Australia lecturer Darren Jorgensen examine the Spinifex Arts Project from its inception with reference to a new exhibition happening August-October 2012 at John Curtin Gallery and asks the big question: "What would it mean if Aboriginal artists were not tied to language groups, communities, art centres and regional styles?"
Postcards from China
Multi-disciplinary artists Jason Wing, who has both Aboriginal and Chinese forebears, undertook a residency in Xucun, a remote village in China, where Chinese artists Qu Yuan and Shen Shaomin have established the Xucun Art Commune in order to protect the village's beauty and heritage.
Tu Di Shen Ti, Our Land Our Body: the Ngaanyatjarra poetic goes to China
The exhibition 'Tu Di Shen Ti – Our Land Our Body, Masterworks of the Warburton Collection', was seen in China by about a quarter of a million people, across seven venues, throughout 2011. Director of the Warburton Arts Project Gary Proctor describes how the exhibition came about, what it looked like and what its goal are.
Trepang: crossing cultures / creating connections
by Alison Inglis and Susan Lowish
Archie Moore: drilling deep
Freelance curator and writer Tim Morrell studies the art practice of Brisbane-based Archie Moore which is emphatically free from any signature style and is concerned with sharing his experience as an Indigenous Australian in order to put viewers 'in his shoes'.
The Ghost Net art project
Program Director for Ghost Nets Australia Sue Ryan describes how the Ghost Net Art Project began and what it is all about - people using eco-trash to share stories and express their creativity.
Parallel Collisions: 2012 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art
2 March to 29 April 2012 Art Gallery of South Australia Curators: Natasha Bullock, Alexie Glass-Kantor
Spaced: Art out of place
Artistic Director: Marco Marcon Fremantle Arts Centre 4 February - 11 March 2012
Panorama: are we there yet?
Daniel Boyd, Nadine Christensen, Sarah Goffman, Fiona Lowry, Bennett Miller, Arlo Mountford, Joan Ross, Caroline Rothwell, Bernie Slater, Jemima Wyman Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, NSW 27 January 2011 – 13 March 2012
You’ll always be my #1: Sarah Jones
Inflight Artist Run Initiative Hobart 4 – 25 February 2012
PROMISE PROGRAM !Metro Arts, Brisbane
21 March – 14 April 2012
Andrew McQualter: A partial index
Daine Singer, Melbourne 27 January - 3 March 2012
Obscured by Light: Pamela Lofts and Kim Mahood
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs 25 February – 25 March 2012
Marco Fusinato: There Is No Authority
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney 11 February - 17 March 2012
Restless – Adelaide International 2012
Curator: Victoria Lynn Flinders University City Gallery Samstag Museum of Art Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia Australian Experimental Art Foundation March 2012
Glen Skien: MYTHO-POETIC
The Webb Gallery Queensland College of Art Griffith University 19 – 28 April 2012
Science Fictions: Tricky Walsh
Bett Gallery, Hobart 9 – 31 March 2012
FotoFreo 2012: The City of Fremantle Festival of Photography
Perth, Western Australia 17 March – 15 April 2012
Chiharu Shiota: State of Being Sue Saxon and Jane Becker: All that is solid melts into air
TarraWarra Museum of Art 25 February - 27 May 2012
How did Aborigines invent the idea of contemporary art?
Brenda L Croft, artist, curator and Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Experimental Arts, UNSW, reviews and finds gaps in the big pink book put together over many years by Ian McLean that collects iconic bits of writing about Aboriginal art and knits them together.
Indigenous Art Code: cracking the code
The Director of the Indigenous Art Code John Oster explains the Code, how it works, why it is needed and who isn't complying.