March Reading: Lorraine Gibson’s, “Art, culture and ambiguity in Wilcannia, New South Wales”

The next Aboriginal Art Reading Group meeting will be Monday, 15 March, 5:30PM, Room G38, Elisabeth Murdoch Building. This is the first meeting of this semester and I hope to see some new faces join us.

We will be discussing Lorraine Gibson’s, “Art, culture and ambiguity in Wilcannia, New South Wales” Australian Journal of Anthropology, v.19, no.3, Dec 2008: (294)-313.

This article is available for University of Melbourne students/staff on the SuperSearch database, click here for link to the library. Please email me if you do not have access SuperSearch and would like a PDF copy of this week’s reading. Article abstract from Lorraine Gibson:

The claim of most town whites that Aboriginal people of Wilcannia make art but have no culture and the claim by Aboriginal people of the town that their art work and art designs demonstrate their culture and cultural traditions opens up the powerful and productive dimensions of art and culture for closer scrutiny. In so doing, the ambivalence and ambiguity which saturates these categories is ethnographically revealed. How can the presence and production of artworks in Wilcannia and the white denial of culture be considered? Why indeed do these questions matter, in what ways do they matter, and to whom do they matter? How do the categories of traditional/remote, urban/settled and their avatars intersect with black and white notions of Aboriginal art and Aboriginal culture discursively and experientially?


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