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Articles sur Indigenous art

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The bark painting depicting a barramundi that Namadbara created for Spencer at Oenpelli in 1912 and that he identified in the interview with Lance Bennett in 1967, now in Museums Victoria Spencer/Cahill Collection (object X 19909).

Paddy Compass Namadbara: for the first time, we can name an artist who created bark paintings in Arnhem Land in the 1910s

The Spencer/Cahill Collection at Museums Victoria contains approximately 170 bark paintings – and now we can name one of the artists behind them.
May Nango sharing stories about Mamukala wetlands with her grandson, in 2015. Anna Florin (courtesy of GAC)

65,000 years of food scraps found at Kakadu tell a story of resilience amid changing climate, sea levels and vegetation

The Kakadu region has gone through immense transformation throughout history. How can archaeological food scraps tell us about how the First Australians adapted?
Josie Maralngurra touching her hand stencil made when she was around 12. In the background are three white barramundi fish figures with red line-work also created by her father Djimongurr. Photograph by Fiona McKeague, copyright Parks Australia

Friday essay: ‘this is our library’ – how to read the amazing archive of First Nations stories written on rock

Australia’s stunning galleries of rock art are vast repositories of knowledge that can teach us much.
Cherine Fahd, Being Together: Parramatta Yearbook, 2021-2022. Produced by C3West on behalf of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in partnership with Parramatta Artists’ Studios, an initiative of the City of Parramatta. Courtesy of the artist

How the arts can help us come back together again – podcast

Three stories from Australia and the UK exploring the role of art in helping people deal with the challenges life throws at them. Listen to The Conversation Weekly podcast.
Being Indigenous is more than just genealogy. Here Lorralene Whiteye from the Ojibway Nation checks her hair in a mirror before the start of a healing ceremony, held by Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, to commemorate the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Evan Buhler

Stolen identities: What does it mean to be Indigenous? Don’t Call Me Resilient Podcast EP 8

In recent years, some prominent people have been called out for falsely claiming Indigenous identity. Why would someone falsely claim an identity? And what does it mean to be Indigenous?
Adventurer Francis Birtles in his car with a man identified as Indigenous artist Nayombolmi. National Library of Australia

Aboriginal art on a car? How an Indigenous artist and an adventurer met in the 1930 wet season in Kakadu

One was a celebrity adventurer, the other was a skilled Indigenous artist who painted everything in sight. A new look at old photographs confirms their meeting.
Painting of a raider on horseback (bottom right) with a musket and domestic stock. A ‘rain-animal’ (top right) was likely summoned to wash away the raiders’ tracks. Courtesy of Sam Challis and Brent Sinclair-Thomson

South Africa’s bandit slaves and the rock art of resistance

Runaway slaves joined indigenous Khoe-San people and raided colonial farms. The rock art they left in their hideouts tells a fascinating story.
A slide by Gordon H. Woodhouse to accompany a 1901 lecture by his father Clarence entitled ‘exploration and development of Australia’. State Library of Victoria

Friday essay: Our utopia … careful what you wish for

Exclusion has been central to utopian ideas of Australia since before Federation. It still lingers. To progress in this climate-challenged century, Australia’s foundational wrongs must be righted.
A woman walks past a mural in Vancouver, B.C. The power of public art is its ability to turn artistic practice into a social action. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

Bringing art into public spaces can improve the social fabric of a city

When public art pairs artistic expression with community engagement, it can honour the diverse communities that share public spaces and spur important conversations.
Rock paintings from the main gallery at Djulirri in Namunidjbuk clan estate, showing traditional Aboriginal motifs as well as European boats, airplanes, and more. Photo by Sally K May.

Threat or trading partner? Sailing vessels in northwestern Arnhem Land rock art reveal different attitudes to visitors

Pictures of boats and ships in rock art at the northwestern tip of Australia show the European incursions from the 1800s — but also the much earlier and lesser known sea trade with southeast Asia.
December 1972: Billy Miargu, with his daughter Linda on his arm, and his wife Daphnie Baljur. In the background, the newly painted kangaroo. Photograph by George Chaloupka, now in Parks Australia's Archive at Bowali.

‘Our dad’s painting is hiding, in secret place’: how Aboriginal rock art can live on even when gone

How does rock art matter? New research finds it can act as a kind of intergenerational media –even when no longer visible to the eye.

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