Art, culture and ambiguity in Wilcannia, New South Wales

Lorraine Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The claim of most town whites that Aboriginal people of Wilcanni make art but have no culture and the claim by Aboriginal people of the town that their art work and art designs demonstrate their culture and cultural traditions opens up the powerful and productive dimensions of art and culture for closer scrutiny. In so doing, the ambivalence and ambiguity which saturates these categories is ethnographically revealed. How can the presence and production of artworks in Wilcannia and the white denial of culture be considered? Why indeed do these questions matter, in what ways do they matter, and to whom do they matter? How do the categories of traditional/remote, urban/settled and their avatars intersect with black and white notions of Aboriginal art and Aboriginal culture discursively and experientially?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-313
Number of pages20
JournalThe Australian Journal of Anthropology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


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