Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

Tags Margaret Boko

Tag: Margaret Boko

Artists tell it like it is

This is us, this is the way it is – that’s what Sally Mulda’s paintings of town camp life seem to say. Grog scenes abound and when I visit Tangentyere Artists studio where she paints, she is working on one, putting it aside, taking it up again. It shows a paddy wagon in the river and two policemen pouring out grog, while four disconsolate Aboriginal people walk away. But police aren’t always present, nor is grog. With the same kind of steady observation Mulda (pictured at work) shows the scenes of everyday sociability, writes KIERAN FINNANE.

Town camp artists do it their way

They are a group of people about whom much is said and written by others, but here is chance to see residents of the Alice Springs town camps express themselves in their own images and words. They tell us about daily life, spirit life, memory, reflection, aspiration. There is humour, affection, yearning, delight, pride. Two Alice Springs art centres, Tangentyere Artists and Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, have combined to present this exhibition, Our Way, Their Way, at RAFT Artspace. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

Pictured: No Trouble Here? by Sally Mulda.

What future for the Aboriginal art economy?

In the global economic downturn all artists are doing it tough. How will the Aboriginal art industry ride it out? A CRC project will attempt to come up with some answers.

 

In any picture of the Aboriginal economy, especially on remote communities, the art industry would have to be seen as the shining light, for the way that it has engaged large numbers of people, bringing them purpose, cultural prestige, income and opportunity.  So why is it, in particular, the subject of a seven year research project by the CRC for Remote Economic Participation?

It's not the only focus for the CRC of course – there are 12 research areas all up – but Aboriginal Art Economies is a flagship project with a $1.5m budget and will run for the entire seven years of the CRC's life, with the final years devoted to "rolling-out" the research findings in practical ways.

Perth-based research leader Tim Acker has hands-on experience of the industry stretching back 15 years. He was for instance a manager of the famous Warlayirti Artists in Balgo, WA and more recently was one of the co-founders of the Canning Stock Route Project.

Mr Acker acknowledges that the Aboriginal art industry is the "single most obvious and long-term success story to come out of remote Aboriginal Australia", but he says it is still "characterised at pretty much every point by some form of fragility": "The way art is produced, the community circumstances, the art centres, the connections between artists and galleries, the GFC and the overall downturn in the art market in the last few years, all those things have put into sharp relief that there is nothing fixed about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art sector."

And some of fragility has come about because the industry it has been "too successful", he says. For example, there are issues of over-supply and in this regard, the marketing of art on the internet has been a double-edged sword. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

Pictured above: Nancy Nyanyarna Jackson working on her painting in the Warakurna Artists studio. Photo by Rhett Hammerton

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