The much talked about decline in the art market seems to be reflected in sales from Desert Mob, the flagship annual exhibition from Aboriginal art centres across the central deserts, presented by the Araluen Arts Centre and Desart.
Opening weekend sales were down by more than $125,000 from last year – $206,435 compared with $332,175. However the gap has closed somewhat with sales continuing steadily. A total of $296,350 had been made by October 10, with one a half weeks to go. The final figure last year was $354,850.
According to a statement by a spokesperson for Araluen: “It appears that buyers are making more considered purchases this year and are taking time with their decisions. Art Centres also seem to be exhibiting artworks of lesser monetary value to cater for a changing market.
“Unlike 2011, artwork sales have been steadier throughout the exhibition with artworks being sold on most days and with one and a half weeks left of the exhibition, it is hoped that sales figures will total similar to last year.
“This year’s exhibition is of a very high standard, presenting high calibre works by established and upcoming artists. Feedback from the public has indicated that many visitors consider the Desert Mob exhibition as the preferred Aboriginal art event across the country, with this year’s Symposium attracting the largest audience in its history.”