Celebrating Australian Indigenous Art: Valuing Culture, Relationships and Building Strength through Art

By Liz Cameron.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Wollotuka Institute, an Indigenous unit of the University of Newcastle presents an account of the impetus and outcomes achieved through a contemporary Aboriginal Art exhibition. This account addresses the process of establishing the inaugural Wollotuka Acquisitive Art Prize (WAAP), the challenges experienced, the exhibition opening, the outcomes achieved and projections for future exhibitions. Initially developed to support Indigenous fine art students, the exhibition now includes emergent and professional Indigenous artists from east coast of Australia. WAAP celebrates the spirit of Indigenous culture and country, capturing storylines in both traditional and contemporary format. Artworks submitted featured stories of creation in Dreamtime, spirit of culture and country. WAAP successfully fused traditional art practice with contemporary themes to present artworks that highlighted what it means to live on the coast of NSW, and reunited these communities in an event that included Indigenous music, bush tucker foods and dancing. Community engagement and development were key factors that underpin the WAAP Exhibition The lead up to the exhibition generated awareness to the courses Available at the University of Newcastle. The Wollotuka Art Exhibition builds community awareness, creates opportunities for artistic development, and assists in extending the profile of The Wollotuka Institute.

Keywords: Indigenous, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Australia, Art, Exhibition, Community Engagement, Community Development

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.185-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.839MB).

Liz Cameron

Portfolio Leader, Student Support and Development, The Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Liz Cameron lives on the Eastern Coast of Australia and is of Dhurag, Aboriginal decent. With over 25 years experience in Indigenous education, arts and health, Liz has completed a Diploma in Fine Arts, Post Graduate studies in Indigenous Social Health and is now studying a PhD in Indigenous Philosophy (Creative Arts and Healing). Liz works at The Wollotuka Institute, an Indigenous Support Centre of Newcastle University where she initiated the Wollotuka Acquisitive Art Prize Exhibition. Initially developed to support fine arts students the annual exhibition now supports over 80 participating Indigenous artists. Liz believes that art provides a pathway to build community spirit, empower individuals and raise cultural awareness and build on reconciliation. Liz also works as a counsellor and uses the arts as a tool for counselling.

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