McCulloch’s New Edition to be Launched in Red Centre

6pm next Saturday, September 27 at The Lane, 58 Todd Mall, Alice Springs

MELBOURNE, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008” The eagerly awaited new edition of McCulloch’s Contemporary Aboriginal Art: the complete guide will be launched In Alice Springs at 6pm Saturday, September 27 at The Lane, 58 Todd Mall, Alice Springs. The book will be launched by Alison Hunt, Mutitjulu elder and spokeswoman, and the author’s childhood friend, and Cecilia Alfonso, director, Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists, Yuendumu.

One of the most popular books on Aboriginal art for its unique melding of art book and guide, this highly illustrated and informative guide traces the growth in modern Aboriginal art through its regional differences. It provides up-to-the-minute information on dozens of art producing centres and areas throughout the central and western deserts, the Kimberley and west, the PY (Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara) and NPY (Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara) lands, the Top End and Arnhem Land, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands, southern states and capital cities. It charts the rise of this extraordinary art movement over the last 40 years.

This vast growth of Aboriginal art is reflected in this new edition itself which has increased from three main regions and 22 communities in its 2001 edition, to nine regions and more than 80 places and art communities in 2008.

The production of Aboriginal art has grown dramatically and so too have the issues surrounding it, which are more contentious than ever before, said co-author Susan McCulloch, who has been documenting Aboriginal art since the 1980s. It can be quite bewildering for art buyers or appreciators to sift through the maze of information and counter-information to sort out what is the ˜real’ in Aboriginal art, said McCulloch. The guide demystifies this, and presents clear, concise information about the history of this art, the issues surrounding it, its regional and stylistic differences, and an analysis of how this art is sourced, bought and sold.

Susan McCulloch and her co-author and daughter Emily McCulloch Childs (authors also of the seminal reference on Australian art, McCulloch’s Encyclopedia of Australian Art, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year) have travelled widely for more than 20 years throughout the central and western deserts, the Top End, Kimberley, Arnhem Land and Australia generally. They have known, interviewed and written of many of Australia’s great Aboriginal artists as well as those of newer generations.

The launch of McCulloch’s Contemporary Aboriginal Art will take place during the Desert Mob Exhibition & Market Place 2008, which showcases work from all of the art producing communities of Central Australia. 40th Birthday events will also be held at Melbourne Fine Art at 6pm Tuesday, October 7; at Art Sydney on Friday, October 24; at the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art on Wednesday, November 12, and in Perth at 2pm Saturday, November 15.