The rise and fall of the Indigenous art market over the last few decades is a fascinating case study in perception over fact, market forces over cultural importance and short-term greed over long-term sustainability.
It demonstrates what can happen when quality is not a primary consideration in the sale of art - when one 'buys' rather than 'collects'. It is also interesting to consider how the mainstream press has, in recent years, avoided the great and progressive things that are happening in the Indigenous art world.
The real story is of how Indigenous art, as an overriding movement, has continued to build and develop with new artists and new relevant, important ideas. Furthermore, it has constructed a diverse visual language that speaks of the country and its long, often neglected pre- and post-colonial history.
It is indeed good news for Australia that the broader Indigenous art movement is alive and well. Whilst many in the tourist/decorative and trinket trade may disagree, the higher echelons of Indigenous art remain culturally significant and, it could be argued, are even more so...READ MORE