Investigating art as national identity

12 Aug 2014

Vanessa Russ

Investigating art as national identity

This article first appeared in Bassendean Eastern Reporter 5 August 2014
Written by Lauren Pilat

ABORIGINAL art has historically been represented in state galleries by Caucasian men, says Bassendean resident Vanessa Russ.

As part of her post honours diploma, Ms Russ looked into how Aboriginal art was acquired by Australia’s state galleries and how they represented the culture.

Ms Russ’ research focused on the Art Gallery of New South Wales and its Aboriginal art collection from the 1950s onwards which, she said, shifted Australian art history.

She said the history hadn’t been captured properly with a dominating westernised history, decisions and perspectives.

“State galleries should actually represent people in that state,” Ms Russ said.

“They were created by the people who represent organisations like Native Australian organisation and they were white western British orientated men.

“They weren’t galleries that represented their history and we see that throughout the world.

Read the full article Bassendean Eastern Reporter 5 August 2014


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