In the late 1970s the women of Utopia, Central Australia, began creating batik as part of an adult education program. A decade later painting on canvas was introduced to the artists by the art coordinator at the time Rodney Gooch and a major shift to working with that medium followed. Since the beginning, art and craft making have become some of the major activities in the community with the artworks being nationally and internationally recognised.
Although over the three decades many different art coordinators have worked with the artists from the Utopia community, no one has left such a mark as Rodney Gooch in regards to the interaction of the artists with the wider art world as well as in terms of the development and innovation within the art works. This paper examines the particularities of Gooch’s engagement with the artists by contextualising his visions tangible in the group projects into the broader history of the art movement.
|Keywords:||Aboriginal Art, Central Australia, Anthropology of Art, Visual Anthropology, Art History, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Utopia, Rodney Gooch|
PhD Candidate, Research School of Humanities, and the Arts at the Australian National University, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
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