Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming): Ormay Gallagher is one artist hoping to capture the imaginations of Indian art lovers. (Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation : Ormay Nangala Gallagher )
From the Tanami Road to Chandi Chowk, two central Australian Aboriginal artists are on a shopping expedition in the narrow alleys of New Delhi.
Ormay Gallagher and Otto Sims are buying clothes to wear to the opening of an exhibition of Aboriginal dot paintings.
They are also here to do some selling.
We’re in New Delhi showcasing our art, and in the meantime, we get to sell our paintings to whoever buys the painting and meet other people and tell them about our culture back in Australia, Sims said.
The Warlukurlangu Art Centre from the remote community of Yuendumu has teamed up with Australian-based art collector and curator Durga Vishwanathan to set up one of the first commercial Australian Aboriginal art exhibitions in India.
The prices are very competitive as compared to Indian artists ¦ Contemporary Indian art is very much more expensive compared to these artworks, and these artworks are just as good, Ms Vishwanathan said.
The global economic downturn may be biting in India, but Ms Vishwanathan believes the local art market is riding out the turmoil.
I think in India the prices of any artwork have not come down, she said.
You cannot say ˜It’s a recession’ and ˜I’m willing to give you money for this and less money’ and ˜Can we do a deal?’
They just say, ˜If you don’t buy it somebody else will’. So, it’s pretty strong.
Cecilia Alfonso, the coordinator of the Warlukurlangu Art Centre, says despite the economic hard times there is growing international interest in Aboriginal art, and it’s important to build on that to ensure Aboriginal artists can continue to earn a living through their work.
I think we’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, she said.
We can only continue to do what we do, and that is to continue to produce this beautiful artwork and just hope that we manage to see the recession through and survive.
Because on the ground, we are one of the only alternative sources of income for Aboriginal people in this community, and we’re probably the biggest employer in Yuendumu.
Back in New Delhi, Gallagher has bought a piece of Indian art.
Now she is hoping Indian art collectors will return that sentiment and buy one of her paintings.
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