Yesterday ABC RN broadcast a conversation on a recent retreat by indigenous artists at Bundanoon – [the glorious Shoalhaven property bequeathed to the Nation by Arthur Boyd and family] The question that arrested my attention was how can Australian indigenous artists find a place to begin in their own critique of their own work, including negative criticism. Vernon Ah Kee [one of last year’s judges at the Marie Ellis OAM Drawing Competition at Jugglers] commented that indigenous art has slipped into mediocrity because no one makes negative comment or gives a robust and considered critique of works. Critique is essential to conceptual and skilled development.
I see the critique and criticism of works by the graffiti sub culture by those artists and others on the edge or outside of it. Within our exhibition and studio life at Jugglers there is both a robust and non-existent critique of work.
Vernon’s comments were motivational.