By KIERAN FINNANE
CLARIFICATION: Hetti Perkins did not use the word ‘national’ when she made these comments on a “cultural centre or some form of facility in Alice Springs”. The next day at the symposium she referred briefly to the need for a “series of regional institutions devoted to the collection and exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art” and did not use the term “cultural centre”. Our report quoting Scott Lovett from the Chief Minister’s Office would suggest that local discussions, however, are about a national Indigenous arts centre.
Plans for a national Indigenous culture centre in Alice Springs are progressing behind the scenes, prominent Indigenous art world figure, Hetti Perkins (at left), told the crowd at the opening last night of annual Desert Mob (above).
She thanked those responsible for working towards a repository of “our art for our mob” – it would be the landmark this art movement deserves, telling the world that Alice is the hub for the internationally renowned Aboriginal art movement out of the deserts.
More than 500 visitors had squeezed into the foyer at Araluen before the doors opened on the 24th flagship exhibition from over 30 Aboriginal art centres of the region.
It is also the 21st year in which Desart, the art centres’ advocacy and development organization, has collaborated with Araluen to present the show. This was celebrated by a performance by women from desert choirs – many of them also artists (at right). The conductor is Morris Stuart, artistic director of the Desert Song Festival.
They will take to the stage at Araluen on Saturday night, as one of the attractions of the Desert Voice concert.
Desert Mob events continue today with an artist-led symposium, followed tomorrow by the popular marketplace for lower-priced works.