No one could call it a stunning year for Indigenous art – with the market delicate and the product, perhaps in response, not leaping any dramatic hurdles. No one, that is, apart from Danie Mellor and Tony Albert, the two urban artists who had triumphant years – a big touring show and appearance at the Edinburgh Festival for Mellor; two big prize wins for Albert.
One of Tony Albert’s wins was at the NATSIAAs, where the NT Museum & Art Gallery’s new Chair controversially raised the question as to whether urban and remote art really sat logically together. Controversy, too, over the SA Museum’s important Ngintaka Songline Show, a colourful Desert myth that resonates today over food and water resources across the APY Lands.
Four sad deaths of artists were recorded – though I’m sure others slipped through the net. We shall miss Shorty Janagala Robertson, Ruby Williamson, Gordon Bennett and Peter Taylor, though their art lives on.
And so does Aboriginal art as a whole, despite a few gallery closures. Next year will see two key events: at home, the new Tarnanthi Festival in Adelaide offers the prospect of a cultural feast that brings the great Groote Eylandt Dance festivals to mind; and abroad, the remarkable American collector, Dennis Scholl will tour “great abstract art” around really contemporary US art museums to potentially revitalise the market over there.
As a measure of his importance, all bar one of these events was reported or reviewed by Jeremy Eccles, whose love of Aboriginal art and culture, together with his BBC training, continues to bring us the best of both worlds. Jeremy is, quite simply, a cornerstone of the Aboriginal Art Directory News.
This year also saw Frannie Hopkirk join us and in so doing brought a distinctive Voice. The vox response to her interview with Pat Corrigan and feature on Emily Kngwarreye, in particular, was gratifying.
To both Jeremy and Frannie we say thanks for the work you have done in promoting Aboriginal artists, the museums, the galleries, both public and private, the awards, and the history which make up the Aboriginal art industry. We very much look forward to reading your penned insights on the events – and the history – of 2015.
Tags: 2014 in Review , APY Lands , danie mellor , Dennis Scholl , emily kngwarreye , Frannie Hopkirk , gordon bennett , Groote Eylandt , Jeremy Eccles , NATSIAA , Ngintaka Songline Show , NT Museum & Art Gallery , pat corrigan , Peter Taylor , ruby williamson , Shorty Janagala Robertson , Tarnanthi Festival , tony albert ,