Four years in preparation of a grand scale project is …

Comment on Work started on national Indigenous art gallery for Alice by Maya.

Four years in preparation of a grand scale project is not too much if the millions ear-marked remain ear-marked in four years’ time, with the yearly increment in building cost and wages, as well as the inevitable alterations of design as we saw when Sydney Opera House was built.
Good to have enthusiasm and to see big. However we are not Washington City (fortunately). Alice Springs is and remains a regional service town in the middle of the desert. We are not Brisbane with GOMA nor Hobart with MONA (which is by the way Privately funded). But we need a National Indigenous Art Gallery (traditional and modern), our NIAG.
The points stressed by Chansey Paech, MLA, make sense:
* It needs to be in a magnificent location, as “we live in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country”. Of course, a location where the view of the ranges is not obstructed by the deplorable new court house building. Somewhere adjacent to the Desert Park so that tourists can visit them both on their itinerary.
• It needs to blend in with the landscape, surely not like the deplorable new court building.
• It should be surrounded by gardens featuring Central Australian bush tucker plants. Yes the Desert Park flora and fauna are already there providing the surroundings; just integrate it with this new project.
• It should have a cafe, run by Indigenous staff and featuring Indigenous flavours. Sure, and a better one that the current Desert Park’s. I just remember that the IAD cafe was open to train Indigenous staff in the art and skill of hospitality. It is dead for no good reason that I know of. So we have four years to train indigenous staff.
• It should have a space for the performing arts.
Performing Art are and must remain the privilege of the Araluen Arts Centre which receives NT funding to remain operational and offer its facilities for all performing arts. Do not duplicate.
We have four years to think about it, talk about it, make sensible decisions about design, plans and location whatever the Government of the day. Arts is beneficial to all, locals and tourists alike.
The subject is an important one.

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