Impossible to go to the national museums conference, held in Alice Springs last week, without thinking about the agenda set by the NT Government for a national Aboriginal art gallery here. KIERAN FINNANE reports on the elephant in the room, and on what First Nations people, here and elsewhere, want when it comes to telling their stories.
Utopia artist Margaret Loy Pula has won the 2012 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, it was announced today. Her painting Anatye (Bush Potato), acrylic on linen, was chosen from 98 finalist entries for the $50,000 prize. The exhibition of finalist opens tomorrow at the South Australian Museum. The artist will have a solo show at Muk Muk Fine Art in Alice Springs in September.
At a time of transition in our self-image – the romance of the hardy pioneering town receding under the pressure to create a more collaborative future between the settler and original populations – it is fascinating and often heartening to look at Philip Jones' Images of the Interior. This book presents the work of seven photographers, turning their lens on the people and landscape of The Centre from the 1880s to the late 1940s.
With each, there are 12 full page reproductions of their photographs.
Almost every one feels iconic, yet it is amazing how few are well known to us. This is our heritage, the rich material that tells the foundation story of the early settler encounter with this place. The dominant impression that it leaves is of curious, adventurous men who responded to the unique beauty of the desert landscape and were very interested in the Aboriginal people they met, in both their cultural difference and in them as people, as individuals. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.
Above: Young Arrernte woman at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, c. 1895. Photograph by Francis Gillen. From the South Australian Museum Archives.