@ Hal Duell. Posted 31st August, 2018 @ 11:41. The Old …

Comment on Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent by Russell Guy.

@ Hal Duell. Posted 31st August, 2018 @ 11:41.
The Old Timers Museum should be added to my list of local, low profile art gallery / museums as below. It’s an historical repository of detail and reconstruction with an emphasis on the pioneering times of early Alice Springs, including Arrernte history and brief explanation, allowing visitors to join the dots.
In fact, joining the dots with the other museums / galleries would tell a fascinating story about Alice Springs.
I’ve heard it said that Grey Nomad tourism is forecast to grow at around 17% p.a. and the kind of museum / galleries that already exist as described are the kind that they are interested in, so it would make sense to promote these as jewels of an outback town.
Fostering an industry dependent on expensive air fares should not overshadow domestic tourism and the required infrastructure, especially in suitable accommodation, catering to caravans and backpackers who, admittedly, are low-budget visitors, but significant none the less.
In respect of the Melanka site, it may make more sense to consider an Arrernte Cultural Centre – as has been written about almost ad nauseum in these pages, including pre-contact history – that is more of a commercial cafe/sales visitation, as opposed to the more scholarly Strehlow Centre, rather than an art gallery per se.
Tim Jennings had a great museum upstairs at the Mbantua Centre before the slump in Aboriginal contemporary art and the Emily Kngwarreye million dollar painting that could have been bid for if there was some foresight in the government’s proposed art gallery venture is water under the bridge.
The commercial viability of existing art galleries has to be considered, notwithstanding the Araluen exhibitions.
Such a proposal for the Melanka site, with imaginative architecture and a purpose-driven vision, including live performance space for music, theatre and art is more in keeping with modern tourist expectations of the sort described by Minister Moss elsewhere.
It has an incredible story to tell, but how it would be funded and staffed is another story.
The $50m the government has put on the table seems eminently suited to this concept and site, rather than creating a new sports complex and covering Anzac Oval with concrete.
History would, I believe, not look favourably on the Gunner Government’s proposal and the concept of tourism, a tourist culture as Minister Moss conceives it, should be town / regionally specific.
“The past is not dead, in fact, it is not even past” is specifically applicable to Central Australia.
The bones of a re-imagined tourist industry are already lying about the place.
All they need is to be brought to life and added to in sympathy with the history of a town struggling to find its way.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent
@ Maya. All of my many comments relating to this proposed gallery, going back eighteen months have been in sync with what you have written.
I am tired of it all, but if you look at the size and stature of tourist-related galleries and museums in Alice, the current proposal is way out of proportion.
The Aviation Museum, Araluen, Road Transport Hall of Fame, the way in which the old gaol celebrates the achievement of women, the Telegraph Station, Desert Park, AZRI, Pitchi Ritchi, Adelaide House, the Residency and even Hermannsburg with its renovations, all are low profile.
Building on and nurturing the essence of Alice, its history and community, would be more sympathetic to a desert town surrounded by an immense landscape than the grandiosity of what smells like a proscenium arch proposal in line with the new courthouse.
Check out the newly constructed dinosaur building at Muttaburra for appropriate desert architecture.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

National Aboriginal gallery: Town Council’s action clear as mud
I took the Victoria Hotel tour in Goondiwindi recently, led by an eighty year old local who said that much of the old town had been knocked down by “multinationals” who didn’t care about its heritage.
“They just threw the old tin on the back of a truck and took it to the tip,” he said.
I stayed at the Victoria around 1990 as a break from the swag. It was a grand old building with a main street verandah in the Australian tradition, but fell into disrepair until a few years ago when the Council colluded with a local to bring it back.
Because of the memories, I took the tour, but the town hardly resembled the way it was 30 years ago. Kinda lost its soul. Grows cotton now for export to China mostly, where they make the clothes and ship ém back.
It’s easy to understand how multinationals and mall makers can knock heritage down, but not so easy when your own government does it.
There’s a plaque on a rock near Anzac Oval dedicated to George Wilkinson who managed Wallis Fogarty’s store in Alice in the early days.
If you look carefully, you can see lots of heritage around there.
Beats me why the NAAG can’t be build somewhere else.
The CBD is chockers as it is, whether functioning or not. This is a country town like Goondiwindi, not Las Vegas, yet.
It’s easy to lose a town’s soul, if you’re not careful.

Nanny state: Tennant alcohol restrictions for Alice?
The NT Government released a press release on September 3 announcing that it was inquiring into takeaway liquor licensing regulations in the Alice Springs region after conducting an inquiry in the Barkly.
Reducing harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT is not “going to send people packing”.
On the contrary, I suggest that it will increase the quality of life for everyone.
The problem is easy access to alcohol and takeaway has been the biggest culprit for decades.
There is no silver bullet: The BDR and a Floor Price are part of the goal of reducing the amount of excessive alcohol consumed and the cost to the public across many portfolios, including tourism, which suggests that a figure of 99% responsible consumers is inflated.
If 1% of the population can do so much damage, and it is a generational trauma, then the status quo needs changing.
Lulling people into complacency and allowing the alcohol industry to self-regulate while alcohol-related trauma continues is irresponsible.
A nanny state would do nothing about it.
Intervention is necessary.

SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins
@ Albert Diano: Thanks for your engagement, Albert.
I encouraged “Local Centralian” to engage with Alex Nelson’s post because Alex is making a similar point to yours.
I have made the point that nurturing and encouraging (financially) the jewels of community museums and other galleries in Alice is part of establishing a stable tourist economy, with benefits for the CBD and visitation accommodation alternatives for the growing Baby Boomer domestic market, versus the high end air fares on which the government’s proposal is based.
I suggest that more cross-engagement with thematic posting would be useful in debating the points made, with thanks to the Editor for his patronage.

Gallery: national reference group appointed
@ Local1. It’s called a thematic funding window or bucket of money in the vernacular.
In Mexico, photographic exhibitions are combined with music. How revolutionary! Should be exported to the colonies.

Gallery: national reference group appointed
“In my mind and in my car, we can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far …” (Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles. 1979).

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