A new Website showcasing Indigenous artists from urban Australia has debuted: Storylines.
A joint effort by The University of New South Wales and the open-access Dictionary of Australian Artists Online (DAAO), the site seeks to fill in "a gaping hole in information about Aboriginal art", according to Tess Allas, a project director and an associate lecturer at UNSW's School of Art History and Art Education. Allas and an assistant spent more than three years, from 2007 through 2009, traveling around Australia to collect information about and help write biographies for hundreds of Indigenous artists in urban areas. (The biographies, some 600 for Storylines, are published on the DAAO site.)
According to information on the Storylines site, the project's aims "are primarily cultural and conceptual — the repositioning of Indigenous artists from 'settled' Australia as part of both Indigenous art and Australian contemporary art." The conduct of the project, the site also indicates, serves as a model for how to guide similar projects that seek to document "a specific thread of Australian artistic practice".
The site presents the research and the results (by age, gender, other occupation(s), birthplace and residence, language, family, training, and other characteristics), and includes links to images of paintings and drawings of various artists. The information in each category helps to create a more comprehensive understanding of Indigenous urban artists individually and collectively.
In the video immediately below, Allas describes the project's intentions, the problems encountered in trying to document the artists' work, and her team's findings. (The complete project report is available at Storylines.)
Australian Indigenous Art at Culture Portal (Government Site)
Indigenous Arts, Culture and Languages (Government Site)
Indigenous Legal Issues, Arts Law Centre of Australia Online
Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art (The Netherlands)
Queensland Indigenous Arts (Marketing and Export Agency)
Essay, "Australian Indigenous Art: Local Dreamings, Global Consumption" (2008)
Michael Riley: sights unseen, Archive of Retrospective Exhibition (Go here (Part 1) and here (Part 2) for an excellent video program about Michael Riley. Michael Riley, 1960-2004, was an important Aboriginal filmmaker and photographer. His obituary is here. Biographical summaries are here and here.)