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Articles on Indigenous art

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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.
Nardi Simpson plays the square piano, similar to one that arrived on the First Fleet. Jamie Kidston

Four Indigenous composers and a piano from colonial times — making passionate, layered, honest music together

Four Indigenous composers were asked to create works for a square piano from a painful period in our nation’s history. They did so in creative, honest and powerful ways.
Gordon Bennett Australia 1955-2014 Home Decor (Algebra) Ocean 1998 Synthetic polymer paint on linen / Two parts: 182 x 182cm (each); 182.5 x 365cm (overall) © The Estate of Gordon Bennett. Gift of The Hon. Paul Guest OAM QC under the Cultural Gifts Program 2018. Collection: Bendigo Art Gallery

‘One of the most important Australian artists of the late 20th century’: Gordon Bennett’s Unfinished Business

A major survey of Gordon Bennett’s work showcases a dizzying blend of styles and themes.
Vincent Namatjira, Western Arrernte people, Northern Territory, born 1983, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Close Contact, 2018, Indulkana, South Australia, synthetic polymer paint on plywood; Gift of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation for the Ramsay Art Prize 2019. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Grant Hancock

Terra nullius interruptus: Captain James Cook and absent presence in First Nations art

For too long, Cook was a promise recollected in pigment, bronze and stone. Contemporary First Nations artists are challenging this imagery.

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