An introduction to Aboriginal art and culture

Wednesdays, 23 June “ 11 August 2010

Centenary Auditorium, Lower Level 1

This six-part course, presented by Jonathan Jones, curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of NSW, introduces the vast array of Australian Indigenous art, ranging from the familiar bright acrylic paintings of Central Australia to the distinctive ochre on bark paintings of Arnhem Land. It also extends to the contemporary mediums of photography, printmaking and installation employed by artists living within urban areas.

The course will encourage a critical understanding of the varied cultural, political and historical forces that have influenced the development of Australian Indigenous art. It will also examine concepts surrounding the positive and negative popular placement of Indigenous art and culture within broader Australian culture. These ideas will be considered within the context of specific works, by leading Indigenous artists, in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Topics include:

  • the history and impact of exhibiting Australian Indigenous culture
  • the iconic bark painting movements of Arnhem Land
  • the power and energy of acrylic painting from the leading Papunya Tula movement of Central Australia
  • the impact of missions
  • the use and command of the camera in Indigenous Australian communities
  • the issues faced by many artists, communities, galleries and audiences today

Lectures will be followed by drinks (included in the cost).