This paper offers an ethnographic exploration of the assertion of a 'Barkindji style' art: why this matters and to whom it matters. Focusing particularly on the Darling River area of Wilcannia and on the period from the 1980s to the present, the increasing interest in artmaking by local Aboriginal people is considered. Through a dialogue with artists, artworks, and others, the work examines the changing form, design and content of art and the role of art in defining ideas of Barkindji Aboriginal culture and tradition. Invocations by key cultural brokers to produce work that is seen to 'belong to us' is explored in terms of the cultural, political, and personal work that this involves; particularly as this intersects with ideas of artistic freedoms versus artistic direction by cultural brokers. The paper discusses the personal considerations and tensions that come to bear in the processes connected with production of art and its making. In so doing, this paper engages with, and extends, the work of Tacon et al. (2003), Cooper (1994), Kleinert (1994) and Morphy (2001) as this pertains to art 'styles' and material culture from what is widely referred to as south-eastern Australia.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2008|
- Aboriginal Australians