I understand (or have at least heard) that the push …

Comment on Mayor Ryan, CM Gunner mum on art gallery by Namatjira Art Collector.

I understand (or have at least heard) that the push for the Anzac Oval site has a lot to do with directing tourists to that end of the Mall, thereby benefiting local businesses.
However, Aboriginal people, including the families of the artists (the artists being the raison d’etre for the gallery) might want to look at it from their own perspective.
If the point is to celebrate Aboriginal art and culture, then it certainly starts with Albert Namatjira and his watercolour school but it doesn’t end there.
For the watercolour artists were followed by the dot painters whose work we see in national and international galleries.
But it didn’t end there either. These artists are only part (albeit a very important part) of the story.
CAAMA Music contributed too to the cultural story, producing and promoting recordings by many well known and less known bands during the 80s and 90s. They still produce music.
Then from Impaja (and CAAMA) there is Yamba the Honey Ant. She too is colourful and culturally important.
Further down from CAAMA and Impaja is IAD Press, which has printed history books and Dreamtime stories of a 50,000 year old culture for past 40 years.
So there are watercolour and dot artists, then there are recording artists and artists who write or illustrate books. They are all artists.
The area of Gap Road and South Terrace is traditionally an Aboriginal cultural precinct.
It should, out of respect, be kept together. An art gallery, built across the road from CAAMA and Impaja and up the road from IAD Press is a way of remembering and paying tribute to all those great artists whose colours in song and paint has put Alice on the tourist map.
If Gunner and his mob and the Alice Springs council were sincere in wanting to honour these artists, they would build on or near the Melanka site.
If the point of the gallery is just to be a money spinner for the town – build it on Anzac oval.

Recent Comments by Namatjira Art Collector

National Indigenous Art Gallery future in doubt: Gunner
There are many more suitable places other than Anzac Oval.
The old Melanka site is directly across from CAAMA. Years ago, their shop sold the CDs and tapes of recordings by Aboriginal musicians which were produced on the premises. I believe they still do.
The shop also sold books, Yamba dolls and souvenirs.
Then there were the studio tours that were popular. Behind CAAMA is Impaja. So to have an Aboriginal Art gallery directly across the road makes sense to me.
The building could be designed around some of the trees and it doesn’t need to be large, but rather stylish and Centralian.


Gallery reference group co-chairpersons announced
TRW – I had planned donating them to Araluen but I expect the artwork held in that museum would be shared or probably even consolidated into the new museum.
For that reason, the collection is going south. I feel that is the right decision under the circumstances.


Gallery reference group co-chairpersons announced
Not interested in being lectured to, so didn’t read all the waffle.
Cutting to the chase, this art gallery and its location suits no one other than this pedantic government.
Out of respect to the townspeople and the memory of the Aboriginal watercolour artists whose paintings I collected, my forty or so pieces are off to the new Aboriginal gallery in Adelaide.


Coles Mural: Government, Heritage Council fall silent
Adam Giles is reviled, held up to ridicule by Territory Labor then voted out with the help of “Independents” for amongst other things, erecting a building that compromised the character of Alice Springs.
Missy Moss, you sure are looking like another Adam Giles.


Anzac Oval grab Minister rejects Coles Mural listing
When this intrusion by Moss on the people of Alice Springs comes to fruition and the building replaces the green and pleasant oval, what will it contain?
If Aboriginal people object to their relatives’ art work from appearing in the gallery and collectors boycott it, what will there be to see?
I worked one of the art galleries in the 1980s and knew some of the old Namatjira watercolour school artists. I also have a reasonable collection of their work.
It was always my intention to leave this interesting collection to the Araluen Art centre.
But as this is to be replaced by the new art gallery which is so offensive to both towns people are the artists’ relatives, I suppose the next best thing is to bequeath the entire collection to the new Adelaide Indigenous Art Gallery.
I’m sure the new Alice gallery will contain many, many great dot paintings, but visitors come to Alice Springs because of the Namatjira legend and the art. But much of this art might just have packed up and headed south.


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