Our Art, Our Art Industry

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

From 2007 - 2009, artists from 28 Indigenous Art Centres and remote communities came together under the Our Art project to discuss and document art business, their art centres and the business relationships and concepts that were important to them. They considered how their art makes its way through the art market, often to a city-based or even international buyer, including the commercial transactions associated with that process. They discussed the relationships, processes and agreements they enter that help ensure that their art centre and their art practice is protected from exploitative conduct that could undermine the return to the artists, their career and the desired return to their families and community. These vodcasts are one outcome of these discussions.

"Our Art, Our Art Industry" was a joint project of NAVA, Desart and the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists Inc (ANKAAA). Vodcasts by David Pollock Films & Francine Chinn. This project was funded by the Sidney Myer Fund. 

Claude Carter, Mangkaja Arts

Mangkaja has been operating since the early 1980’s from Fitzroy Crossing and functions as a gallery, specialty store and a studio space for the artists to paint and make cultural artefacts. It is approximately 2524 km from Perth and 400 km from Broome. In this video, Claude Carter talks about how history, stories and knowledge is passed on.

Christine Yukenbarri, Warlayirti Artists

Established in 1987, Warlayirti Artists Aboriginal Corporation is located in the small Indigenous community of Wirrimanu (Balgo) and serves approximately 200 Indigenous artists from the communities of Wirrimanu, Mulan and Kururrrungku (Billiluna). In this video, Christine Yukenbarri talks about preparing for exhibition, showing and selling her work and the importance of "strong culture, strong painting".

Gabriel Nodea, Warmun Art

Warmun Art Centre is owned and governed by Gija people with 100% of income returning to the community. In this video, Gabriel Nodea speaks of the relationship between painting and history, saying, ’Our painting and corroboree is like our archive. That’s what our old people wanted, that’s what our art centre is.’

Carol Hapke and Agnes Armstrong, Waringarri Arts

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts is a wholly Aboriginal owned art centre. It was established in the early 1980's by senior artists of the region and is located in the heart of Miriwoong Country at Kununurra in the east Kimberley.

In this video, Hapke and Armstrong discussed the importance of the centre. Hapke explains that training is provided to the staff and that they have ‘their own people working there and they know the culture and society, and then they also understand the Gardiya way’. Hapke speaks about how the art centre has to meet the Gardiya way in terms of justification of funding and explains that the story that is related in a painting belongs to all of the Miriwoong people, not just the artist.