PETER BROKENSHA OAM 12/10/26 TO 24/06/14

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 20.09.14

“He was a good man who did good things”, assessed Bob Edwards, long-time friend, one-time employer and a partner with Peter Brokensha in early efforts to turn the nascent Aboriginal art movement into a viable business. Coincidentally, the Pitjanjatjara people with whom Brokensha spent time, also referred to him as Wati waru – a good man. South Australia, where Brokensha was born and died, was another connection between this trinity. But it was in Sydney that he created his most significant physical achievement – the Argyle Arts Centre in The Rocks. Having dabbled in pottery, the then-business executive wanted a place where craft and art could be displayed and sold, so converted the 1828 Bond Store into a place for potters and leather-workers, goldsmiths and jewellers to have studios. It opened in 1970, and also housed the first dedicated 'primitive' art gallery in Australia run by Peter's wife Elizabeth (nee Douglas). The gallery would give work experience to Indigenous curator Djon Mundine and Aboriginal art gallerist Gabriella Roy. Sadly, the Centre is now all bars and restaurants. Peter Brokensha had an unhappy childhood thanks to an alcoholic, travelling salesman father straight out of Arthur Miller, and chose the Communist Party for company at university where he studied engineering in the late 40s. This wasn't a problem when he joined the SA Harbors Board, but required negotiations with ASIO when he was recruited by Caltex as its first graduate trainee in 1952. Fifteen years later, Brokensha was Director of Operations and on the Board of Caltex Oil (Australia). But US head office interference, pottery and the Argyle Arts Centre project were all leading him astray, to the amazement of the press which headlined his resignation from Caltex, “Oil Executive Switches to Art : Maybe I'm nuts, he quietly says”! In fact,» Read More

 

DID A BITCH WIND BLOW ABORIGINAL ART ONTO THE WORLD STAGE?

DID A BITCH WIND BLOW ABORIGINAL ART ONTO THE WORLD STAGE?

Posted by Frannie Hopkirk | 14.09.14

Was Cyclone Tracy a freak accident of cosmology, an epic drama involving a vengeful wind, or just a pissed off tropical storm? The insinuated anthropological terminology given to destructive natural disasters such as Tracy has 'Her' with the best of...» Read More

 

KALDOR GOES NATIVE

KALDOR GOES NATIVE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 11.09.14

The first Kaldor Public Art Project to involve an Australian artist creating art in Australia will also be John Kaldor's first Indigenous project. Sydney-based Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi identifying artist, Jonathan Jones is going to re-imagine the Garden Palace that burnt down in...» Read More

 

LOLA GREENO – LIVING TREASURE

LOLA GREENO – LIVING TREASURE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 11.09.14

The first Indigenous artist/craftsman has been recognised as a Living Treasure – Master of Australian Craft. Tasmania's Lola Greeno joins a distinguished list of Treasures which includes potters Les Blakebrough and Jeff Minchin, glass artist Klaus Moje, and jeweller Marian...» Read More

 

The Martu 'Did it Together'

The Martu 'Did it Together'

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 10.09.14

Twelve large collaborative desert artworks will go on show at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art next week in a show entitled Martu Art from the Far Western Desert . The Far Western Desert is a region that is commonly described...» Read More

 

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 09.09.14

After a period in which social unrest and an emphasis on film dominated the cultural scene, the revitalisation of Balgo painting continues apace. Two different projects are under way which will see a major contextual exhibition open in Melbourne next...» Read More

 

KLUGE GOES TO THE TORRES STRAIT

KLUGE GOES TO THE TORRES STRAIT

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 02.09.14

The Kluge-Ruhe Museum – America's only permanent institution displaying Australian Aboriginal art and educating Americans about it through associations with the University of Virginia – re-opened earlier this year after refurbishment with a semi-permanent exhibition called Art and Country. It's...» Read More

 

TWO CHARITY AUCTIONS

TWO CHARITY AUCTIONS

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 25.08.14

With what looks like an unfortunate coincidence of timing, two worthy Indigenous charities are holding art auctions within days of each other. Arts Law is first cab off the rank, celebrating its 30th anniversary of advice specifically tailored for artists...» Read More

 

Current Exhibitions

Industry Corner: Industry

DID A BITCH WIND BLOW ABORIGINAL ART ONTO THE WORLD STAGE?

Posted by Frannie Hopkirk | 14.09.14

Was Cyclone Tracy a freak accident of cosmology, an epic drama involving a vengeful wind, or just a pissed off tropical storm? The insinuated anthropological terminology given to destructive natural disasters such as Tracy has 'Her' with the best of...» Read More

Industry Corner: Exhibition

The Martu 'Did it Together'

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 10.09.14

Twelve large collaborative desert artworks will go on show at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art next week in a show entitled Martu Art from the Far Western Desert . The Far Western Desert is a region that is commonly described...» Read More

Events: Event

TWO CHARITY AUCTIONS

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 25.08.14

With what looks like an unfortunate coincidence of timing, two worthy Indigenous charities are holding art auctions within days of each other. Arts Law is first cab off the rank, celebrating its 30th anniversary of advice specifically tailored for artists...» Read More

Events: Event

ABORIGINAL ART 'COMES HOME'

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 22.07.14

A significant dinner held in Melbourne last week was a homecoming of sorts for that dominant feature of the Aboriginal art market over the past two decades – the auction. Aboriginal art auctions have been maligned, but some have done...» Read More

 

Upcoming Exhibitions

LOLA GREENO – LIVING TREASURE

11.09.14 LOLA GREENO – LIVING TREASURE
Object Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney
» Find out More

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo

09.09.14 Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo
RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne
» Find out More

 

 


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