Thanks for this article Kieran. This is a very special …

Comment on Artists tell it like it is by Lisa Stefanoff.

Thanks for this article Kieran. This is a very special group of women artists. Great to see new work through your eyes in advance of getting back to Alice myself. Go Tangentyere Artists!

Recent Comments by Lisa Stefanoff

NT Writers Festival salutes the ‘lifelines that join and cross’
Thank you so much Kieran for this report! What a wonderful happening. Congratulations Dani P and everyone else involved.


Council cops out on frack-free zone
Council should perhaps considering abandoning its advisory groups. They waste good people’s voluntary expertise and time: Cr Brown countered Cr Jade Kudrenko’s suggestion that council take the advice of its advisory committee by saying that advisory committees are there only to provide advice: “We are not in any way compelled to listen to them.”
This has been the way with the PAAC for years too. It is very patronising in the end.


Council cops out on frack-free zone
Thanks for covering the meeting so comprehensively Kieran. Also for an unforgettable line of journalism: “The Mayor’s platitude was passed unanimously.” Classic.


Council: Stuart statue back, feral trolleys tamed, CDL in limbo, ‘no’ to higher fines, WiFi for mall, dropped BDR empties river
As as former a member of the ASTC Public Art Advisory Committee who was involved channeling public responses to the John McDouall Stuart statue in 2010 I was invited to speak about it on local ABC Radio yesterday morning. Here is a summary of what I said, with a little elaboration of some points and a couple of extras:
There are very good reasons to be concerned about this latest chapter in the statue story:
[a] I understand that council helped the Freemasons to make their submission to Heritage when they clearly said that they would not do this. The Council’s public pledges can unfortunately not be trusted. This is very disappointing given the trust and faith that we want to have in our elected representatives.
[b] As discussed in 2010 and since, Council did not respect its own public art policy nor the expert advice of its Public Art Advisory Committee in accepting the statue as a “gift” in the first place. The PAAC supports a professional best-practice approach to the commissioning of appropriate public art through proper consultation and design processes.
[c] The particularly dominating representation of JMcS in this statue, standing triumphantly with an oversized gun, is offensive to many people and is not an accurate portrayal of his arrival in central Australia: he in fact arrived on his knees, weak and ill, and was helped by local Aboriginal people. Why not represent this encounter through a properly commissioned piece if we need another memorial to him?
[d] A false claim has been circulated from the start that this is a JMcDS memorial when it is in fact a memorial to masonic history in central Australia, using the explorer as a cipher of that history. The plaques that will go on the large pyramid plinth all honour former centralian masons. This is a private artwork that at best belongs on private property.
[e] “Plonking” the statue in the existing rather elegant Stuart Park represents an aesthetic disruption to that space. One of the major problems with this artwork is that it is not a site-specific design. Proper public art design processes integrate artworks and place from the start.
[f] There will be considerable costs associated with maintaining and securing a controversial piece of public art. What is council’s budget for this perennial job?
[g] Local media has in recent days given air to the highly inaccurate claim that there is no opposition to the statue. A capacity crowd attended the 2010 emergency public meeting about the statue and the very large majority were against it for a variety of reasons, some of which I’ve outlined here.
I resigned from the ASTC Public Art Advisory Committee last month. I encourage anyone with concerns about the erection of the statue to contact the PAAC at your earliest convenience.


Pamela Lofts, 1949 – 2012
Pam loved Alice Springs. A profound inspiration for what is possible in this special place in the world. An immense loss, so very sad.


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