GURRUMUL

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 19.04.18

How I long to get to Elcho Island! For this generous, ceremonially dynamic community of Yolngu tribes-people willingly sent out their blind son into the world to promote its culture. There was no way he was ever going to even attempt to explain it in words – he was almost catatonic when asked questions in English in public – but his Yolngu-matha songs have somehow given the wider world a greater insight into their world than almost anyone before. And having introduced us to this world with quasi-Western music co-written with his bassist partner, Michael Hohnen, made incredibly special through his honeyed voice, Gurrumul leaves us (having died in 2017) with a new record that digs deep into his ceremonial reality – the chants that go with the dances and body decoration that celebrate and make sense of life and death to remote Aborigines. To ease the non-Indigenous listener's ears into this experience, Gurrumul, with his Skinnyfish Records interpreters Hohnen and Mark Grose, has added a Western classical backing with more than a suggestion of composers such as Arvo Part and Phillip Glass. Oddly, David Page, the great inter-cultural composer for Bangarra never seemed to need such back-up when harnessing fellow-Yolngu, Djakapurra Munyaryun's intense basso chanting. But then, of course, Gurrumul's Yolngu music is classical too. Australian classical. And, coincidentally, the Noongar novelist Kim Scott, winner of not one but two Miles Franklin Awards, is determined to gain acceptance for that word 'classical' to represent this country's 60,000-year-old culture. For, he points out, if something is accepted as classical, there's always room for a renaissance that embraces it and takes off. I shall endeavour to recognise the untrained artists of remote Australia henceforth as classical. Not for Gurrumul, as we see in the documentary film of that name, the colourful,» Read More

 

Grants - Closing Soon

Grants - Closing Soon

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 13.04.18

Get your skates on - here's some ripper grants being offered to individuals and small businesses by fantastic companies and organisations, all with fast-approaching deadlines. Indigenous Languages & Arts Grants Close: 14 May 2018 The Department of Communications and the...» Read More

 

ENGLAND'S EMILY?

ENGLAND'S EMILY?

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 07.04.18

Poor old Emily.....first there was the Qantas plane named after her with an artwork that didn't look like her's, and now Damien Hirst. Much puffing and blowing has occurred since images of the once-YBA Hirst's 'Veil Paintings' first appeared in...» Read More

 

THE SONGKEEPERS

THE SONGKEEPERS

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 04.04.18

Weird coincidences abound, don't they? On the day that I saw a preview of the delicious documentary, 'The Songkeepers' about the (mainly) women's choirs that are a key part of cultural maintenance in remote desert communities, I also caught up...» Read More

 

ON GADI COUNTRY

ON GADI COUNTRY

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 19.03.18

In an extraordinary first – extraordinary because it's the first time in 180-odd years that the Australian Museum in Sydney has taken the opportunity to celebrate the local Gadigal culture – we're in the middle of 'Weave', a Festival of...» Read More

 

SPECIAL REQUEST

SPECIAL REQUEST

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 16.03.18

Wiradjuri artist Jonathan Jones is working on a project for this year's Asia Pacific Triennial which requires a lot of feathers – native bird feathers. It's all about understanding the wind as an important part of understanding Country. Winds bring...» Read More

 

Competing National Aboriginal Art Galleries

Competing National Aboriginal Art Galleries

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 05.03.18

“It is well recognised that a National Centre for Aboriginal Arts and Culture is long overdue. The absence of a national gallery for Aboriginal Australia's cultural and artistic heritage is a significant omission by Australian governments," said South Australian Liberal Party...» Read More

 

Gapu-Monuk – Saltwater Barks

Gapu-Monuk – Saltwater Barks

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 20.02.18

Probably the finest exhibition of Aboriginal art on in Sydney currently is at an unlikely venue – the National Maritime Museum on Darling Harbour. The barks and other artworks on show are a rich heritage from the 1990s. But, part...» Read More

 

Current Exhibitions


Industry Corner: Feature

Grants - Closing Soon

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 13.04.18

Get your skates on - here's some ripper grants being offered to individuals and small businesses by fantastic companies and organisations, all with fast-approaching deadlines. Indigenous Languages & Arts Grants Close: 14 May 2018 The Department of Communications and the...» Read More

Industry Corner: Exhibition

ENGLAND'S EMILY?

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 07.04.18

Poor old Emily.....first there was the Qantas plane named after her with an artwork that didn't look like her's, and now Damien Hirst. Much puffing and blowing has occurred since images of the once-YBA Hirst's 'Veil Paintings' first appeared in...» Read More

Events: Event

The Late Mary Macha

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 02.11.17

Somehow, the Aboriginal Art Directory failed to report the death in March of a woman of great importance in the development of Aboriginal art – Mary Macha. She grew from a West Australian job in the State's Native Welfare Department...» Read More

Events: Event

Art for the Environment

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 14.06.17

The Environmental Defenders Office of the Northern Territory (EDO NT) is again holding an online Aboriginal art auction to raise funds for its important work (advising and acting for individuals, traditional owners, community groups and conservation groups seeking to protect...» Read More

 

 


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