HIGH GROUND

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.01.21

This film is a 20 year labour of love by Stephen Johnson and the people of Arnhemland. For Johnson began working with Witiyana Marika on a film to go with Yothu Yindi's anthem, 'Treaty', and, since then, has been collecting stories from families across Arnhemland from the Carpentaria coast to Oenpelli/Gunbalanya in the West. From Yolngu to Kunwinjku. And the results in this film are all about the invasion of their lands by whitefellas in the early 20th Century. Black and white? Yes, and No. Of course the people are one or the other (apart from Aaron Pederson's “half-caste bastard” brought in from the vicious Queensland Mounted Police for no very obvious reason). But morally? Both sides have their relative goodies and baddies. But a clear white origin story lies with Donald Thomson – famed for his association with 'Thomson Time' which was the legendary period in the 30s celebrated in Rolf de Heer's wonderful 'Ten Canoes' film. Thomson knew from his experience on Cape York that a police action following killings would only provoke violence. Whereas going in alone and given time to establish himself, he could prove capable of taking Aboriginal murderers to court where the justification for their killing a Japanese fishing crew might be tested. In a sense, the Travis character in 'High Ground' (Simon Baker from 'The Mentalist' TV series, and director of 'Breath') is part-Thomson. For he's reluctantly involved in a police action that turns into a massacre, and then goes freelance. Travis was a sniper in the 1st World War, where he worked with the distinctly blacker whitefella, Ambrose, played with a bristling moustache by Callan Mulvey. As Ambrose explains at one point, the sniper is the 'nice' fellow; the spotter picks the target and then ensures the kill is successful. White and» Read More

 

Indigenous Fashion Meets Country Road

Indigenous Fashion Meets Country Road

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 15.01.21

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects announces Country to Couture Showcase is coming to our TV screens for the first time! After a successful event held in Darwin in late 2020, Country to Couture will bring its exclusive...» Read More

 

"Lost in Another Person's Culture”

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 11.01.21

“For the first time from the National Maritime Museum Collection, we bring together works by Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait Islands) artist Alick Tipoti. With over 25 years of art practise, Tipoti is respected for his work in regenerating cultural knowledge...» Read More

 

'Him Proper Clever Man'

'Him Proper Clever Man'

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 08.01.21

Paddy Compass Namadbara is just about a familiar name in Western Arnhemland bark art. In the 1950s and early 60s, he was part of a group that painted on Croker Island which included the future standout Yiriwala and Jimmy Mijaw...» Read More

 

Appreciating Mparntwe

Appreciating Mparntwe

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 04.01.21

By way of a holiday escape, take a magic carpet-ride to Mparntwe - usually called Alice Springs. It's a colonial outpost dumped down on rich Aboriginal country and the real locals are now offering an insight into pre-colonial places and...» Read More

 

DYARUBBIN

DYARUBBIN

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 21.12.20

That's a word you're going to hear a lot more of in the 2020s, for it's the proper name for the river system that surrounds Sydney – the oddly-named Hawkesbury/Nepean. Why did early colonists think there were two rivers when...» Read More

 

FOUR DAYS TO GO

FOUR DAYS TO GO

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 14.12.20

An URGENT REMINDER. Back in September, the Arts Ministry asked us how improvements could be made to the Indigenous art industry. You now have just four days to complete that assessment. What do you think? 1. What practical actions do...» Read More

 

Museological Sydney

Museological Sydney

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 09.12.20

As the venerable Australian Museum reopens after major renovations, so is it being challenged by the brand new Chau Chak Wing Museum in the University of Sydney. Dr Chau, who already has a startling building named after him at the...» Read More

 

Current Exhibitions


Industry Corner: Industry

HIGH GROUND

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.01.21

This film is a 20 year labour of love by Stephen Johnson and the people of Arnhemland. For Johnson began working with Witiyana Marika on a film to go with Yothu Yindi's anthem, 'Treaty', and, since then, has been collecting...» Read More

Industry Corner: Industry

Indigenous Fashion Meets Country Road

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 15.01.21

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects announces Country to Couture Showcase is coming to our TV screens for the first time! After a successful event held in Darwin in late 2020, Country to Couture will bring its exclusive...» Read More

Events: Event

The Ebes Collection

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 13.10.20

Back in May 2013, I wrote enthusiastically about the opening of Melbourne's 'Emily Museum', celebrating, of course, the career of the woman its owner, Hank Ebes called “Australia's greatest artist”. As he continued at the time, “There is no influence...» Read More

Events: Event

Repatriated Art at Auction

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.07.20

Coincidentally, two substantial foreign collections of Aboriginal art have been returned home in COVID-time to be sold at auction. Tonight, online, Deutscher & Hackett offer the Peter and Renate Nahum Collection from London. And on 22 July in Sydney, Bonhams...» Read More

 

Upcoming Exhibitions

11.01.21 "Lost in Another Person's Culture”
Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney
» Find out More

Museological Sydney

09.12.20 Museological Sydney
Chau Chak Wing Museum, Sydney Unviersity Campus, Parramatta Road, Sydney
» Find out More