Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 24 Autumn 2010 Contents 96 INSITE AUTUMN
AGE OF REASON
Emerging Elders: Honouring Senior Indigenous Artists,
until June 14, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
Rover omas was an early starter at 49 and Pantjiti Mary McLean was
only 59. Both were relatively young when compared with Emily Kame
Kngwarreye, who was in her 80s before she began painting seriously.
is is a pattern with Aboriginal artists, not only for lack of previous
opportunity and the changing market environment, but mainly
because painting and having something to paint about in traditional
Aboriginal society requires a certain status and set of responsibilities
that comes with age.
Elders are admired and respected as keepers and enforcers of law,
culture and healing because rather than being seen as separate
activities, art is integrated within all aspects of Indigenous life.
e value of an artwork is judged by its social and religious
significance to the life of the community and not only for its
visual appeal. Healers within Indigenous communities are
viewed in a similar way.
To be a healer or Law Man or a woman who has Tjukurpa
demands a level of respect, but it is not necessarily considered
an independent occupation: to be a healer, an elder or to be an
artist is to be actively involved in maintaining the health and
well-being of the entire community.
e Geneva Declaration on the health and survival of
indigenous peoples affirms "... that cultural identity and expression
is essential to a people's wellbeing. It connects indigenous health
and resilience with rights to express relationship to land, reciprocal
justice, family and kinship ties, language, stories, writings, art,
theatre, music, dance and games".
As such, the relationship between art, health and wellbeing within
Indigenous communities is inextricably linked to the notion of country.
is spiritual link with the land lies at the core of cultural identity and
offers the sense of belonging and wellbeing explored in Emerging Elders
at the National Gallery of Australia.
e exhibition demonstrates how art is integral to identity and how
the singing, storytelling and performance that often accompanies the
making of an artwork is vital in teaching and sharing knowledge with
younger artists and the community at large.
Palunya: that's all 2002 -- 2004,
by Pantjiti M McLean.
RIGHT ON THE BUTTON
Together Alone: Australian and New Zealand
Fashion, until April 18, National Gallery of Victoria,
Australia and New Zealand are internationally competitive in many areas
and world leaders in a few we proudly proclaim: cricket, rugby, athletics,
cinema, literature... and fashion. Yes, fashion!
For those somewhat bewildered by that claim, our geographic location
makes Australia and New Zealand an ideal transitional zone between
summer and winter in the Northern Hemisphere and this creates a space
within which the innovative designers from both countries have carved
their own niche, receiving international recognition for their distinctive
and original approach to designing garments that reflect a regional
identity but look out to a global audience.
at the National Gallery of Victoria highlights the
dynamic practices of eight leading Australian and
New Zealand fashion houses -- Akira Isogawa,
Toni Maticevski, MaterialByProduct, Romance
Was Born, Doris de Pont, World, Nom*D and
rough a selection of more than 40
works, the exhibition spans the past
decade during which time Australian
and New Zealand designers have moved
beyond regional boundaries onto the
Crazy crochet dress, Del Eye leggings and Rooster
crochet beanie by Sydney fashion house Romance
Was Born (Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett).
Glimmer top, kimono
and Drifter trousers
by Auckland fashion
Ted Snell is the University of Western Australia's Cultural Precinct
director. He is a passionate art lover and academic, and currently
the art reviewer for The Australian in Western Australia and chair
of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council.
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