Heart of Artness is a journey into the labyrinthine workings of Australia’s Aboriginal art world. We hear from artists and the non-Indigenous folk who interact with them to produce cutting-edge contemporary art. The first episode, The Conquistador, the Warlpiri and the Dog Whisperer, was produced for ABC Radio National's Earshot. You can listen to it here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/earshot/the-conquistador,-the-warlpiri-and-the-dog-whisperer/9617950
Heart of Artness is a University of Wollongong research project led by art historian Ian McLean, with oral historian Siobhan McHugh and Margo Neale, Senior Indigenous Curator at the National Museum of Australia. It is funded by the Australian Research Council. More information at www.artness.net.au
Ep6: Aboriginal Art: Is It A White Thing?
In 2003, Brisbane artist Richard Bell lambasted the white anthropologists, art historians, dealers and curators who presumed to judge Aboriginal art. Here he discusses Bell’s Theorem (Aboriginal Art: It’s A White Thing), racism and his rise from fringe-dweller to renowned contemporary artist, collected by London’s Tate Modern. His gallerist, Josh Milani, salutes Bell’s provocations: ‘The more he offends people, the more I put his prices up’.
Ep5: More of the Matrix
When Judi Muller retired with a good pension, she decided to sell low budget Indigenous art as a personal act of reconciliation. Mark Chapman tailored his art supplies business to suit the desert conditions in which Indigenous artists work. Sydney contemporary artist Ruark Lewis is involved in a creative ‘conversation’ with Yolngu artist Barayuwa Munungurr.
Ep 4: Meet the Matrix
The world of Aboriginal art is like a giant hive that attracts all kinds of people, who interact in diverse ways with the artists. In ‘Meet the Matrix’, we meet three committed collaborators: Dallas Gold, who runs RAFT gallery; Joseph Brady, multimedia digital artist and Jeremy Cloake, yidaki (didgeridoo) expert.
Ep 3: Art As Title Deeds
Since the 1960s, the Yolngu artists of Australia’s tropical north have wielded art and culture to win legal and political rights. They’ve been abetted in this quest by white people embedded in the community. Anthropologist Howard Morphy and art centre manager Will Stubbs reflect on these remarkable milestones.
Ep 2: Art With Heart, A Two Ways World
Three Yolngu artists take us to the site of a massacre of their people in North East Arnhem Land in 1911 and beyond, to the powerful art and heart of Yolngu culture today. The thriving Buku-Larrnggay Mulka art centre is run by a former criminal lawyer who has learned to live in a 'two-ways world', where Western and Aboriginal views sit side by side.
Contemporary Aboriginal art is a powerful part of Aboriginal life and culture. But behind the artists lies a network of Western managers, dealers, critics, curators and collaborators. Heart of Artness features the voices of Aboriginal artists from remote and urbanAustralia and investigates their significant relationships with white folk.