The continuing health of the rock art in Emily Gap, …

Comment on Dreamtime stories in the palm of your hand by Mark Wilson.

The continuing health of the rock art in Emily Gap, with its easy access to all, is really quite surprising when seen in light of the Twin Gums and the Pine Gap men’s site experiences.
I have long felt that unemployed people from Amoonguna could well be enticed as a work for the dole activity to sit and protect their cultural heritage 24/7 in keeping with their traditions.
Such activity would surely be in keeping with cultural maintenance far better than any school based activity for future generations.
What a wonderful living venue also for cultural interchange with tourists well beyond what an App can provide. The App could then be seen as supporting a real, lived experience.

Mark Wilson Also Commented

Dreamtime stories in the palm of your hand
@ Number 19: “Work for the Dole” is discredited because the projects, like painting rocks white, often have little real value or meaning. We all know this.
Surely here is a genuine activity that could be replicated across many communities that would give meaning and value to the scheme. I’m not sure that paying again over and beyond Centrelink benefits would be taken up if it resulted in Centrelink being cancelled by your suggestion.
Nor do I buy your argument that Tourism NT need to buy respect in order to show it. People earn respect, not buy it in the end.
Indigenous elders would find a real role in cultural maintenance. If Indigenous wish to share their culture I don’t entertain that anyone needs to be paid twice to do so.
This simply demonstrates that culture has been prostituted to a commodity with a $$ value.


Recent Comments by Mark Wilson

Large number of cars vandalised at Araluen
You are correct Evelyne. No one will take responsibility.
Most people growing up need imposed discipline before leaning self discipline. But there is little of the former with endless excuses made and programs on offer.
The same tired methods will produce the same outcomes.
Hello! Everyone’s a victim now! The social fabric will only allow this to go on for so long. Already I sense that it’s gone way too far for many of us.


Large number of cars vandalised at Araluen
@ John: You reap what you sow. Here we go again. Yawn. Youth Diversion. Code for doing nothing to change behaviours. Youth diversion and generous reward programs have been the go-to get out of jail card. Its been working well so far eh? These kids are laughing at us and showing contempt. In fact their behaviour is entirely predictable. A little Singapore justice is needed for these precious kids. Maybe for their (in name) carers too.
If we cannot get serious about youth crime then the town needs a return of Advance Alice but preferably with a significant indigenous component to avoid the easy labelling of the group as a white vigilante group.
Last night the police got lucky and intercepted these youth before the 39 cars were instead 200 cars. They are to be thanked. But they face an impossible job really and clearly need more eyes and ears.
Oh Evelyne, sponsor a child to Africa I hear! That would be child abuse!


National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Anzac Oval off the table
Indeed Maya. Places and objects, even art pieces become iconic. They are not born that way. Easter Island and Stonehenge come to mind.
It is the Court of Public Opinion, that is often heavily influenced by aspects of the aesthetic and uniqueness that determines the “iconic” nature.
These are as much established, even legitimised, by “experts”, even self appointed media ones, who make or break an object or place’s status.
To set out to build an iconic structure is a task fraught with problems from the outset.


National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Anzac Oval off the table
A couple of ironies strike me. I am not at all surprised re the lack of adequate consultation of the key stake-holders: the Indigenous custodians of this place and indeed more widely the council and people of Alice. To many white fellas art is as much about the space, the buildings and galleries in which it is displayed. The facilitators imagine the end product and want to shortcut the process. Hence the current priorities. The public flock to The Guggenheim Museum, The Met, The Tate etc with many unaware of the works displayed therein. These spaces becomes their own destination much like MONA (with emphasis) OUTSIDE Hobart. Perhaps The Louvre is an exception as the well known home of the famous Mona Lisa.
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On the other hand Indigenous visual art was historically completed in caves and overhangs, on bodies, on barks, on carved stumps and as petroglyphs carved into rocks and even in the temporal sands of Central Australia. It was not hoarded into purpose built spaces. Cultural artefacts are now regarded as ‘art’. I wonder if the ancient Indigenous saw them as any more than fish traps, mats, spears and burial chambers etc. Art was as much the process, the ceremony, as the product. But white fellas tend to worship the product.
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This brings me to the second irony that follows a posteriori from above. What exactly will we put in such an “iconic gallery” with the NTG acquisitions policies recently on display? Or is the building itself sufficient? Late last year the NTG I understand didn’t even bother to bid for the most significant art work by Emily Kngwarreye from Utopia that at auction sold overseas. The piece is questionably on par with Pollock’s Blue Poles, but without the controversy. I have seen Kngwarreye compared with Monet. The piece sold for a ‘mere’ $2.1m and is the record sale of an artwork by an Australian woman. Surely it is iconic works like these that will be needed in an “iconic” gallery to entice tourists to the middle of Australia, a long, expensive flight from everywhere with ho-hum equally expensive (by international standards) accommodation to greet them. Anyone who believes Alice accommodation is of world standard simply hasn’t travelled.


Fracking OK, but under ‘strict laws’ – Gunner
The NT is BROKE. And with falling GST revenues it isn’t getting better any time soon, folks.
We are used to milking the states of their revenue.
Territorians have grown used to their “entitlements” being fed regularly at the expense of those who actually create the wealth.
We go to Centrelink in huge numbers on “Pay Day”. So what is NT Government to do?
I feel like we are seeing the future, as pristine Antarctica is mined, as world resources diminish.


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