The Bridge Between: Connecting Studio Pedagogy to the Indigenous Art Market

2005 Conference

The paper investigates a number of issues related to cross cultural collaboration with Indigenous artists in Western Australia and their relationship to the international art market. The issues resulting from this are used to form the basis of discussion between American undergraduate students and international artists / academics to establish an international perspective for the analysis and critique of our cultural norms. The paper is presented in three sections:

  1. A brief contextual history of post colonial Indigenous / non Indigenous relations in respect to the artists agents and commercial market forces, designed as pre-reading to promote debate within a group of students undertaking the Global Art World on-line curriculum at the Farleigh Dickinson University New Jersey / Harvard University Department of Comparative Literatures in Cambridge Massachusetts. The extracts are meant as provocative reading to focus debate on the socio-political issues that contribute to the construction and perception of the Aboriginal art market internationally.
  2. An academic perspective on the relationship between creative, industrial and educational partners through the activities of the “Open Bite Australia” print workshop within the School of Contemporary Arts Edith Cowan University. The workshop combines educational, commercial and professional activities through partnerships that bring together artists, students and professional arts administrators. Through this, the workshop assumes an ethical position in its relationship to Aboriginal artists that is educationally rather than commercially driven.
  3. A reflective summary of an on-line project conducted with students at the Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. The on-line discussion board within the Global Art World curriculum has utilised the Open Bite project as a point of focus, and through this has formulated active discussion centred on the underlying reasons behind cultural stereotyping and the expectations of the international art markets.