Lawyers offer lessons in legacy

Aboriginal Art Directory | 22.03.08

Author: Victoria Laurie
News source: The Australian

An article in the Australian about ArtsLaw and other bodies helping Indigenous artists and Aboriginal art centres develop wills to protect royalty streams for artists.

Quoted from the report:

Arts Law's services in will-making are part of a program called Artists in the Black, intended to increase indigenous access to legal advice on art-related matters. Ayres admits that the popularity of the service (which is not extended to non-indigenous artists, who are simply provided with Arts Law's sample will) has taken them by surprise.

"We also deal with other difficult issues like where a person wants to be buried, who is going to look after their children. It serves a number of purposes."

Mowanjum's art will be recognisable to those who remember watching the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony, and the ghostly Spirit of the Wandjina image that artist Donny Woolagoodja created. As art centre chairman, Woolagoodja was among the first to write his will with Arts Law assistance. "They are a good thing to do," he says on a visit to Perth this week, before an invitation-only showing of Mowanjum art at resource giant Woodside's headquarters, and a gallery exhibition later this month.

"It means people know they are not going to go (pass) away and leave nothing to children and grandchildren," he says. Without a will, he adds, "maybe everything goes back to the government".


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