For Aboriginal arts, go SOUTH EAST
Aboriginal art can evoke an emblematic type of image, but a few minutes with Hetti Perkins and you’ll want to delve deeper into the unknown.
The respected curator, researcher, and writer is presenting the SOUTH EAST | Aboriginal Arts Market at Carriageworks, showcasing the cultural heritage of South Eastern Aboriginal Australia.
She’s curating the works alongside awarded artist Jonathan Jones (pictured with Perkins) and Carriageworks’ Indigenous programs producer Emily Johnston.
More than an exhibition, the 30+ stalls will display established and emerging collectives, from the traditional to the contemporary, including weaving, literature, ceramics, carving, photography, painting, shellwork and textiles.
Perkins sees the collection as a rare opportunity for both shoppers and spectators to go behind the scenes of Aboriginal art from this region.
“It’s such a different experience to be able to meet the makers, the artists, and that works both ways,” she says. “These people are cultural entrepreneurs, if you like.
“The artists are keen to talk to people and hear feedback. And you don’t often get the chance to meet the person whose beautiful object is going to be a part of your home, to follow their journey, to see where they go.
“It’s for the average punter, like me. But we’ll have collectors and state institutions coming along so you know the artists you’re seeing are really quite important.”
The standout feature of the market is in the title: SOUTH EAST. Loosely speaking, the area in focus encompasses New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Murray Darling catchment area. It’s a region rich with Aboriginal art movements, and multiple layers to interpret.
“There is an impact throughout this region from being at the front line of colonialism,” Perkins says. “And it’s special to see these things transcend countless generations, and survive. Some are only now just coming back into the fore in many ways.
“It’s a huge slice of Australia, with broad appeal, and these people have been invited to participate to show what’s really happening, the diversity, and what we’re excited about as curators.”
The exhibitors range from up-and-comers to those who feature in national galleries and significant private collections. Notable artists are offering more modest scale pieces, or different takes on their usual themes. It’s another way new viewers can test the waters of collecting.
And being a curated market, all the articles are the artists’ own works, or something they’ve personally conceived. There are no vested interests in any sales. And all the stalls are offered free.
“That makes it an ethical marketplace that’s 100% real,” Perkins says.
“I guess, in the art world people would say: “the provenance is immaculate.”
The event runs from 10am – 6pm, Saturday October 06 and from 10 am – 3pm, Sunday October 7. Entry is free.
Carriageworks. 245 Wilson St Eveleigh.