Jeremy Eccles finds that life and art are inextricably intertwined at the Garma Festival

It was powerful proof of the eternal efficacy of art, and it was a moving exercise in humility.

Not, I should hasten to add, any humility by the Yolgnu hosts at the 10 year old Garma Festival, especially not their potent patriarch, Galarrwuy Yunupingu. He was everywhere in white “ opening and closing the Festival, hosting the daily Bunggul of traditional dances, even singing the songs for his family group’s contribution, contributing a print to this year’s Garma Suite at the Guluku Gallery, chairing earnest discussions about indigenous economics and the power of culture and setting the agenda for this whole event with a Yolgnu version of the Noel Pearson position, and, perhaps in line with this, was rumoured to be preparing to lease the land where the Festival is held for mining!

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