2018

January, 2018

SWEET COUNTRY

SWEET COUNTRY

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 12.01.18

Oh boy, has Warwick Thornton set us a series of virtually unanswerable ethical questions in his latest film as director and cinematographer! 'Sweet Country', his successor in terms of its examination of the Aboriginal condition in Central Australia to the...» Read More

MISSION SONGS PROJECT

MISSION SONGS PROJECT

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.01.18

The Sydney Festival kicked off with two Torres Strait Islander tributes – Jimi Bani's autobiography at Belvoir (which I've missed) and Jessie Lloyd's on-going 'Mission Songs' project to collect the music which kept exiled Indigenous people alive during the 'Mish'...» Read More

Canada's First People First

Canada's First People First

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 18.01.18

I first seriously became aware of Canada's Aboriginal people in 2010 when my daily Google feed of online mentions for “Aboriginal art” started to trend towards almost 50% Canadian content. It was the Vancouver Winter Olympics which had pressured that...» 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

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

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

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

February, 2018

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

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 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

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

March, 2018

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

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

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

April, 2018

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

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

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

GURRUMUL

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...» Read More

May, 2018

Lynch v Crees in the Race to Develop a National Aboriginal Art Gallery

Lynch v Crees in the Race to Develop a National Aboriginal Art Gallery

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 01.05.18

Things are moving at breakneck speed in the competitive arena of National Aboriginal Art Galleries! Both the NT and South Australia are holding nothing back in selecting sites, on their respective design competitions for new buildings, on recruiting staff and...» Read More

Siena Stubbs' Yirrkala Birds

Siena Stubbs' Yirrkala Birds

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 01.05.18

Young photographer, Siena Ganambarr Stubbs, has published a book featuring photographs that she has taken of birds in the North-east Arnhem Land region of Australia. It is called Our Birds. Siena developed an interest in photography around the age of...» Read More

NATSIAA FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

NATSIAA FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 02.05.18

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is delighted to announce 67 works have been selected from 308 entries to be part of the country’s most prestigious national Indigenous art awards, the Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres...» Read More

THE WYNNE'S A WINNER AGAIN

THE WYNNE'S A WINNER AGAIN

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 03.05.18

It's been a process that's built and built over 3 years. For this year, the prestigious Wynne Prize of $50,000, offered annually since 1897 by the Art Gallery of NSW for landscape painting, has welcomed into its bosom 17 works...» Read More

THE LOCKHART BRAND IS BUOYED UP

THE LOCKHART BRAND IS BUOYED UP

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 24.05.18

I've been a fan of the artists from Lockhart River on Cape York for almost 20 years now – ever since a bunch of giggling girls appeared at the International Works on Paper Fair in Sydney in 1999. This mob,...» Read More

Red Ochre Time Again

Red Ochre Time Again

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 25.05.18

The Australia Council for the Arts is set to celebrate four remarkable artists at the 11th National Indigenous Arts Awards taking place at the Sydney Opera House this weekend. The National Indigenous Arts Awards (NIAAs) recognise the significant contribution of...» Read More

THE PLAY'S THE THING.....

THE PLAY'S THE THING.....

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 30.05.18

As Hamlet noted, a play can play a significant role in stimulating the conscience – even one that may or may not be possessed by a king. So the month of June in Sydney (elsewhere later) seems to have been...» Read More

June, 2018

NY “Goes Ballistic” over Aboriginal Art

NY “Goes Ballistic” over Aboriginal Art

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 03.06.18

You may recall that the Aboriginal art world got mightily upset in April when it appeared that the incredibly famous English artist Damien Hirst had 'borrowed' more than few visual ideas from the artists of Central Australia who had developed...» Read More

WARS & MASSACRES

WARS & MASSACRES

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 08.06.18

The ever-over-wrought Alan Jones was launching a book about political correctness the other day and was quoted as saying that “primary school children today know more about the 'fictitious' Welcome to Country than they do about Burke and Wills (who...» Read More

WIK v TAREE

WIK v TAREE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 14.06.18

Two documentary films on significant Indigenous subjects came early in this year's Sydney Film Festival – which has such an honourable tradition of celebrating First Nations creativity. But what a gulf between the two. The first was an encyclopedic history...» Read More

DARK EMU

DARK EMU

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.06.18

Bruce Pascoe's important 2014 book has been turned into performance by the only company that could possibly have attempted it – Bangarra Dance Theatre. In case you haven't caught up with the book (which you really should), The Conversation website...» Read More

SAMUEL NAMUNJDJA

SAMUEL NAMUNJDJA

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 19.06.18

It's reported from Maningrida that the great Kuninjku bark artist, Samuel Namunjdja died in early May. He was only 54 and leaves a substantial family on his Mankorlod outstation, some 50km from the Western Arnhemland township. I had the pleasure...» Read More

“I am the old and the new”

“I am the old and the new”

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 22.06.18

What a marvellously biblical statement by the senior Western Arnhemland artist, John Mawurndjul. He made it boldly in accepting this year's prestigious male Red Ochre Award at the Sydney Opera House in May. And the once-shaggy bushman, who lives 50...» Read More

Blak Markets Back in Sydney

Blak Markets Back in Sydney

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 24.06.18

The Blak Markets organisation will again host the National Indigenous NAIDOC Art Fair next weekend at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney. The event will kick off celebrations ahead of this year’s national NAIDOC Week and will offer a vibrant...» Read More

DIGITAL CODES

DIGITAL CODES

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 27.06.18

The Australian Government this week announced that it will commit $150,000 to a pilot program to test digital codes to label authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander products. The move is the latest step in the fight against inauthentic Indigenous...» Read More

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 29.06.18

A lengthy article appeared in a recent issue of The Australian's Review supplement announcing that old Aboriginal barks were setting out to tour China, but also featuring heavily a jolly Chinese comedian. It appears that he is the cultural ambassador...» Read More

July, 2018

The Long Forgotten Dream

The Long Forgotten Dream

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 30.07.18

The world premier of this play by a writer unknown to me but given the imprimature of Neil Armfield's decision to direct it for the Sydney Theatre Company raised mighty expectations. For Armfield has credentials in the Indigenous area –...» Read More

August, 2018

A SENSE OF PLACE

A SENSE OF PLACE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 01.08.18

“The crow djang has two navels”, declares the artist in the didactic accompanying one of the 165 barks, sculptures and lorrkons in the marvellous, career-spanning exhibition of the work of Johnny Mawurndjul – aka Balang Nakurulk. It's a mysterious statement...» Read More

NATSIAAS 2018

NATSIAAS 2018

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 09.08.18

When a tsunami comes your way, all you can do is head for higher ground very fast. This year's Telstra NATSIA Awards have been hit by the Buku Tsunami – which has been a long time coming. No less than...» Read More

The Politics of Art in Darwin

The Politics of Art in Darwin

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 16.08.18

One of the factors that makes Darwin such a dynamic place to be during the August week of the Telstra NATSIAAs is that so many of Indigenous art's key players gather there, to top up on the art and artists...» Read More

SCHIZOPHRENIA OF THE COLONISED

SCHIZOPHRENIA OF THE COLONISED

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 17.08.18

Dance is a wonderfully abstract medium which can allow for a myriad of interpretations. But, aided by the persuasive writing in the program for 'Le Denier Appel' (The Last Cry) at Carriageworks only until tomorrow, I read the impassioned and...» Read More

CIAF Sets Records

CIAF Sets Records

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 19.08.18

Sunshine filled days and starlit skies drew the crowds and community together for last month’s Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), capping off its ninth successful iteration with record breaking success. In releasing CIAF’s sales figures, general manager Vanessa Gillen said...» Read More

Indigenous Pots Are Hot

Indigenous Pots Are Hot

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 23.08.18

The Biennial Indigenous Ceramic Award winner at the Shepparton Art Museum in mid-Victoria is about to be announced on Saturday. As a $20,000 acquisitive prize, the 2018 ICA is open to Indigenous groups and individual artists to propose an exhibition...» Read More

Whispering Still

Whispering Still

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 24.08.18

Twenty years ago, almost single-handedly kicking off the History Wars, Henry Reynolds published 'This Whispering in Our Hearts'. For him it was the culmination of researches stimulated in 1971 by his first job teaching history at the Townsville University College...» Read More

September, 2018

Mawurndjul Makes Headlines in DC

Mawurndjul Makes Headlines in DC

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 03.09.18

Under the bracing headline: 'Introducing the greatest aboriginal artist unknown in America' expatriate Aussie art critic, Sebastian Smee, a Pulitzer Prize-winner at the Boston Globe, told his now-Washington Post readers what they were missing out on in distant Sydney. Smee...» Read More

Greg Weight: Stories Behind the Images

Greg Weight: Stories Behind the Images

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 04.09.18

Note: The details of Greg Weight's life which appear here have been edited from his brief life story - used with permission. We encourage you to read this interesting story in full, and also recommend this great interview with Greg...» Read More

The Museum Race Hots Up

The Museum Race Hots Up

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 05.09.18

The SA Liberal Government today allocated $60m. in its inaugural Budget for the first stages of construction of “a world-leading Aboriginal art and cultures gallery” on the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site at the end of North Terrace in the...» Read More

Alice Springs Gallery Project – Mixed Views

Alice Springs Gallery Project – Mixed Views

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 11.09.18

The findings of a three-month consultation program by the NT Government with the local Alice Springs community have been released with 88 per cent of the Alice Springs community consulted saying they want the project to progress and were either...» Read More

SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY  2018

SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY 2018

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 13.09.18

I'm not sure they really get it! 'Australiasia's Premier International Art Fair', Sydney Contemporary, opened today with expectations of exceeding last year's c$16m. turnover before it closes on Sunday. Yet neither the Director in his opening remarks nor the 'Art...» Read More

OCEANS APART

OCEANS APART

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 25.09.18

He's young and he's earnest, he's British and he's white, and he's telling the Brits all about Aboriginal art. Anything wrong with that? Well, in Australia, it couldn't happen. Because, increasingly, only Aboriginal people are allowed to take on that...» Read More

Greg Weight: More Stories

Greg Weight: More Stories

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 29.09.18

Our original piece on Greg Weight Stories behind the Images was published on 4 September 2018. In September 2016, Michael Nelson Jagamara's 1984 work, Five Stories set a Sotheby's auction record for an Aboriginal artist (reported here by his...» Read More

October, 2018

Closing the Craft Circle

Closing the Craft Circle

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 03.10.18

Sturt Gallery and Ernabella Arts present In These HANDS: Mara nyangangka, an exhibition of new paintings, ceramics, tjanpi weavings and punu from the artists of Ernabella, celebrating 70 years of Ernabella Arts – the first of our now many community arts centres....» Read More

Quilliam's Blood, Bone, Ascension

Quilliam's Blood, Bone, Ascension

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 03.10.18

The work of award-winning photographer, Wayne Quilliam, is currently on show at The Mining Exchange in Ballarat. Quilliam, whose photographs are featured in the Aboriginal Art Directory's social media, is now presenting a more stylised output, describing it himself as,...» Read More

The Aboriginal Memorial – A Smouldering Reproach

The Aboriginal Memorial – A Smouldering Reproach

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 10.10.18

The 30th anniversary of the 1988 creation of The Aboriginal Memorial of 200 dupun/hollow log bone coffins by 43 artists from Ramingining is being celebrated this weekend with a lecture, conversations, a film and a symposium at the National Gallery...» Read More

Tommy Watson in Sydney

Tommy Watson in Sydney

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 17.10.18

Sydney is at last getting a serious show of the art of the late Tommy Yannima Watson – the Pitjantjatjara artist who died in 2017 aged about 82. Is it at the Art Gallery of NSW or the MCA? Sadly,...» Read More

MAJOR INDIGENOUS COMMISSION FOR THE ASIAN STAGE

MAJOR INDIGENOUS COMMISSION FOR THE ASIAN STAGE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 29.10.18

The National Gallery of Australia and its longstanding Indigenous arts partner, Wesfarmers Arts, have announced a new six-year, $4 million partnership which includes a major international touring exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in Asia. The exhibition, Indigenous...» Read More

DO WE WANT AN INDIGENOUS ARTS AUTHORITY?

DO WE WANT AN INDIGENOUS ARTS AUTHORITY?

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 31.10.18

In a process not unlike the one that lead to the hugely consultative Uluru Statement from the Heart, a year of consultation is about to start towards establishing a National Indigenous Arts & Cultural Authority (NIACA). For more than a...» Read More

November, 2018

Skye's the Limit

Skye's the Limit

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 05.11.18

“At the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, the sale of Indigenous art hit an all-time low, galleries around Australia closed their doors and many artists simply stopped painting because they could not sell their work”, the ABC...» Read More

The Uluru Statement comes to Sydney

The Uluru Statement comes to Sydney

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 13.11.18

With far too little fanfare, a week of action was launched on November 4 in support of the vital Uluru Statement from the Heart, released last year by delegates to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Referendum Convention held near...» Read More

Passing Clouds

Passing Clouds

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 17.11.18

Sadly, a deluge of death has flowed through Aboriginal communities in recent days taking artists, art centre elders and even one of the most significant non-Indigenous art centre facilitators. For instance, the current Hazelhurst Art Centre exhibition of APY Lands...» Read More

Two Iconic Art Galleries for the NT?

Two Iconic Art Galleries for the NT?

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 19.11.18

How many “iconic art galleries” can one State or Territory need? While the rest of us – especially the online alicespringsnews.co.au – were exciting almost hourly over the chances that municipal and Aboriginal figures in Alice Springs just might find...» Read More

NONGGIRRNGA

NONGGIRRNGA

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 25.11.18

In the catalogue for the excellent solo showing of artworks by Nonggirrnga Marawili at the Art Gallery of NSW there's a blissfully ordinary picture of the artist – barefoot below an ankle-length cerise skirt – resting on one of many...» Read More

KATHLEEN PETYARRE

KATHLEEN PETYARRE

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 29.11.18

We've lost another of the first white contact pioneers of acrylic painting from Utopia – Kathleen Petyarre, who died aged 80 on 24th November. Kathleen, or, as she was born, Kweyetemp Petyarre, was one of seven sisters from Atnangker, a...» Read More

December, 2018

Remote Arts Workers at UniMelb

Remote Arts Workers at UniMelb

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 04.12.18

Young Aboriginal artists and arts workers from across northern Australia are spending two weeks taking part in a ground-breaking Indigenous learning program at the University of Melbourne. It is the first accredited University program in Australia designed specifically for Indigenous...» Read More

Introduction - The perplexing case of indigenous art

Introduction - The perplexing case of indigenous art

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 04.12.18

A few months ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning US critic Jerry Saltz wrote an essay in which he referred to Aboriginal art as "outsider art". He was using this term as a 'default label' and didn't mean it as a criticism...» Read More