MAWURNDJUL REFOUND

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 27.04.15

We recently published the Chair of ANKAAA, Djambawa Marawili's cry from the heart about the essential importance of out-stations to the maintenance of Aboriginal culture and art. Now, from over in Western Arnhemland, there's a story about the debilitating effects on a great artist's capacity to work arising from loss of access to his out-station. John Mawurndjul has been a Kunwinjku painting hero since his involvement in the famous French Magiciens de la Terre exhibition in Paris in 1989. Born in 1952, he was brought into the township of Maningrida in the 60s, but couldn't adapt to the European 'life-style' that was a key element of the assimilation processes of that era. Instead, he opted for the much harder life on an out-station at Milmilngkan where he could be largely self-sufficient – hunting, painting the land and its inter-connected Ancestors and spirits, and working up to being a ritual leader in ceremonies like the Mardayin and Kunabibi. Thanks as well to a series of dedicated art centre co-ordinators such as Diane Moon and Apolline Kohen, Mawurndjul's art developed from the mainly figurative into a fascinating and widely successful 'abstract' take on bark images that could still be read in all their spirituality by initiates. In the wider world, though, they were seized on by the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, he was given a solo survey in Swiss and German museums, and he won the Clemenger Contemporary Art Prize in Melbourne. He was consequently able to maintain his out-station family life with three functioning off-road vehicles. Jon Altman encountered John – whom he calls Balang, his skin name – in 1979 when researching the economics of this remote life, language and culture for his PhD. He admits in the catalogue accompanying Mawurndjul's current commercial show at Annandale Galleries –» Read More

 

THE BRITS EXPERIENCE INDIGENOUS CIVILISATION

THE BRITS EXPERIENCE INDIGENOUS CIVILISATION

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 23.04.15

Oh, the Poms love to get in a tizz about Australian art and culture! Remember the 'Australia' show of landscapes 18 months ago at the Royal Academy – we were mocked left, right and centre for trying to reflect the...» Read More

 

CRY FOR HELP

CRY FOR HELP

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 20.04.15

The distressing efforts of governments – Federal, State and Territory – to escape their responsibilities for remote Aboriginal communities – out-stations or homelands – was, of course, personified by the immortal words of our PM that living in such inconvenient...» Read More

 

ART MOVES IN DARWIN

ART MOVES IN DARWIN

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.04.15

The Northern Territory Government is helping to create a brand new cultural institution for Darwin, unveiling plans today for a dedicated art gallery in the city's historic Chan Building. Chief Minister Adam Giles and Arts Minister Gary Higgins joined Museum...» Read More

 

RUMINATIONS ON PROVENANCE AND AUTHENTICITY

RUMINATIONS ON PROVENANCE AND AUTHENTICITY

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 15.04.15

Recently I caught one of the BBC’s more interesting TV shows, Fake or Fortune. Hosted by Fiona Bruce of Antiques Roadshow fame, it traced the provenance of a possible missing Impressionist masterpiece. The experts flew around Europe hunting down the...» Read More

 

NEW HIGH-TECH CONSERVATION & ATTRIBUTION CENTRE IN MELBOURNE

NEW HIGH-TECH CONSERVATION & ATTRIBUTION CENTRE IN MELBOURNE

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 15.04.15

Jeremy Eccles interviews Prof Robyn Sloggett, Director of the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) at the University of Melbourne about art fakery, new technology - and her special relationship with Warrmun. The interview forms part of an article on...» Read More

 

SCHOLL SHOW

SCHOLL SHOW

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 01.04.15

In 2008, collectors Colin and Liz Laverty set out to emphasise just how comfortable they felt in moving on from admiring and buying some of Australia's most adventurous Abstract Expressionist art to doing the same for Aboriginal art. In their...» Read More

 

2015 – YEAR OF AWARDS

2015 – YEAR OF AWARDS

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 23.03.15

If you wanted to survey the state of Indigenous art today in all its richness and variety, then a jetset snapshot national tour at the beginning of August would give you as complete a picture as you're ever likely to...» Read More

 

Current Exhibitions

Industry Corner: Exhibition

MAWURNDJUL REFOUND

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 27.04.15

We recently published the Chair of ANKAAA, Djambawa Marawili's cry from the heart about the essential importance of out-stations to the maintenance of Aboriginal culture and art. Now, from over in Western Arnhemland, there's a story about the debilitating effects...» Read More

Industry Corner: Exhibition

THE BRITS EXPERIENCE INDIGENOUS CIVILISATION

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 23.04.15

Oh, the Poms love to get in a tizz about Australian art and culture! Remember the 'Australia' show of landscapes 18 months ago at the Royal Academy – we were mocked left, right and centre for trying to reflect the...» Read More

Events: Event

LAVERTY SALE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 18.02.15

I first met the Lavertys – Colin and Liz – in 1995, at the peak of their collecting days. It happened in Warrmun, the painting heart of the East Kimberley. Was it also the peak of the industry as we...» Read More

Events: Event

ABORIGINAL ARTISTS GO MENTAL

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 06.10.14

High profile artists, including four Archibald winners, have joined forces with the ABC and have donated artworks to be auctioned online to help raise funds to boost mental health research in Australia. The ABC Mental As... Art Auction is a...» Read More

 

Upcoming Exhibitions

THE BRITS EXPERIENCE INDIGENOUS CIVILISATION

23.04.15 THE BRITS EXPERIENCE INDIGENOUS CIVILISATION
British Museum, Fitzrovia, London
» Find out More

SCHOLL SHOW

01.04.15 SCHOLL SHOW
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
» Find out More

 

 


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