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 from their aesthetic delight, and the Museum's excellent explanations of meaning, the politics of the show are highly significant. As governments of all stripes struggle to ask our First People what they want and how they want it delivered, the Yolngu of East Arnhemland took their own dynamic action in 1997, demanding (and eventually getting) just what they needed. And this exhibition clearly counters the expected truth that it's only urban/Blak artists that are invariably political, while their remote cousins are “merely decorative”. This show of 40 Yirrkala bark paintings is 100% politics – and looks beautiful too. These are the people, after all, who created the Yirrkala Church Panels and the Bark Petition to the Parliament in Canberra. In 1997, the Madarrpa clan leader Djambawa Marawili AM discovered an illegal poacher’s camp on his land that included a decapitated crocodile. It may have just been a wild animal. But the setting just happened to be the mythic nest of the Madarrpa's sacred crocodile totem, Baru. Forty-seven Yolŋu artists from fifteen clans and eighteen homeland communities in North-East Arnhem Land responded by revealing their sacred lore and their connections to land and sea through the patterns or designs known as Miny’tji in these substantial paintings, which have become known as the 'Saltwater Collection'. More than a decade later, in July 2008, the High Court of Australia confirmed that the traditional owners of the Blue Mud Bay region in North-East Arnhem Land, together with the traditional owners of almost the entire Northern Territory coastline, have exclusive access rights to tidal waters» Read More

 

SONGLINES SYMPOSIUM

SONGLINES SYMPOSIUM

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 16.02.18

Details have just been released of the Symposium which will bring to an end the important 'Songlines : Tracking the Seven Sisters' exhibition at the National Museum in Canberra. Here's Chief Curator, Margo Neale, to explain: “Just letting you know...» Read More

 

EMILY TRADUCED

EMILY TRADUCED

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.02.18

Qantas has revealed images of its fifth jet-liner featuring a special Indigenous livery in the paint-shop at Boeing’s Everett facility just outside Seattle. The airline says the new livery is based on a work by the late Northern Territory artist...» Read More

 

SONGLINES – TRACKING THE SEVEN SISTERS

SONGLINES – TRACKING THE SEVEN SISTERS

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 06.02.18

Back a'while, Banjo Paterson saw the outback as ”a land half-made”.....”Far to the Northward there lies a land, A great grey chaos -- a land half made, Where endless space is and no life stirreth; And the soul of a...» Read More

 

Dennis Nona Emerges in Hobart

Dennis Nona Emerges in Hobart

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 31.01.18

After a number of years behind bars in Canberra for sex crimes committed when he was a student, and much discussion about the removal of his art from public display – eg the National Gallery pulled his Ubirikubiri bronze sculpture...» Read More

 

BAMBULA

BAMBULA

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 26.01.18

What better way to prepare for Australia/Invasion Day than by spending its eve with 'Bambula'? For this offered the ancient musical traditions of Yolngu Arnhemland transported to Sydney – as they so rarely are – and given a more universal...» Read More

 

Discover the Outback - Departing March

Discover the Outback - Departing March

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 25.01.18

Discover the outback in a 4x4 guided tour and go beyond the beaten track, as well as visit some of Central Australia's most recognised Aboriginal art centres - Ikuntji, Warlukurlangu, Papunya, Haasts Bluff and Amata, Ernabella, Fregon, and Iwantja in...» Read More

 

MY URRWAI

MY URRWAI

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 21.01.18

Incredibly, Belvoir Theatre in Sydney has shows Upstairs and Downstairs that originate from the Torres Strait. That's an impressive first. Jimi Bani may fill the bigger venue nightly with laughs, but Ghenoa Gela presses you against the walls of the...» Read More

 

Current Exhibitions


Industry Corner: Exhibition

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

Industry Corner: Event

SONGLINES SYMPOSIUM

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 16.02.18

Details have just been released of the Symposium which will bring to an end the important 'Songlines : Tracking the Seven Sisters' exhibition at the National Museum in Canberra. Here's Chief Curator, Margo Neale, to explain: “Just letting you know...» Read More

Events: Event

The Late Mary Macha

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 02.11.17

Somehow, the AAD 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 to handling...» 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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