Wakefield: “Clearly, we think the Anzac Oval site is the …

Comment on Anzac High: No plans yet for what will replace it by Namatjira Art Collector.

Wakefield: “Clearly, we think the Anzac Oval site is the best site for the national indigenous art gallery project.”
Clearly? Your government has the clarity of a blind mole, Ms Wakefield. Traditional owners have not only said No to people climbing the Rock, but also to the location of the gallery next to Anzac oval.
It seems some Nos are more equal than other Nos.
With that in mind, I packed up most of my watercolour collection and send it to Adelaide where I’m sure it will be in good company with all the other Namatjira school watercolours, not to mention the dot paintings.

Recent Comments by Namatjira Art Collector

Gallery: Anzac Oval still the sticking point
I have just rewritten my will to donate my watercolour collection to the new Aboriginal Art gallery in Adelaide, when much of my collection now resides.
Will there be a boycott of this unwanted gallery? Probably.
I know of one other watercolour collector who has decided to leave his collection to an interstate gallery as well.

Government firm on demolishing Anzac High: Lawler
Darwin based Labor Minister for Environment and Natural Resources; Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics; Minister for Climate Change, Eva Lawler’s contempt for Alice Springs heritage will see local Labor members punished.
It could be that Lawler’s silly demolition plan could result in climate change to her party, cause you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows … and it only takes one or two seats.

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
The history of Aboriginal Australia is at least 20 times older than that of pharaonic Egypt, and like ancient Egypt, there is relatively little physical evidence left.
What is left, the dreamtime stories telling the history and locations of events long past, is the raison d’être for this art gallery. The watercolours and dot painting are the collective memories of an extant people and their ancient oral history.
The substantial and unique building housing the Alice Springs Town Council is a much, much later chapter in the story of this region.
In comparison to ancient Egypt (but using a more compact time-line) this could be the Ptolemaic period – different, but still history.
Dale Wakefield and Lauren Moss must understand the importance of both and not vandalise them.
Firstly, the dream time site south of The Gap is living history and the reason for the gallery is to contain such history.
The gallery is not just about the tourist dollar and fine paintings, to think that is a very crude evaluation of such national treasures.
The demolition of Turner’s House and Marron’s Newsagency could be compared to Napoleon Bonaparte attempted destruction of the Sphinx by cannon fire. The historical buildings of the Town Council are now under threat.
Do we have two more Napoleons?

Cattle near national park tourist icon
There’s also cattle in the Ruby Gap Nature Park.
There was a mob of them when we took visitors there in May and they were still there in August when we made another trip to the park.

Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians
With the Territory election taking place this time next year and the fact that probably neither Wakefield or Territory Labor will be in government, it might be time for the custodians to talk to the other side of politics.
The building of the gallery in a location unacceptable to Aboriginal people defies belief. It is possible they will ask that their artwork not be displayed in this gallery.
I for one will not donate my rather large and interesting collection of Namatjira watercolours to such a place. Others, I believe, will follow this example.
As to the extra visitors, how will these be accommodated? Our caravan parks and hotels were full for most of this tourist season.
I cannot accept the ambit claim of 245 jobs. Publish the details or retract this claim.
Finally, there is a emphasis in this report about how much money the gallery will make for the town. Nothing wrong with making money, but not in the context of trampling on others’ heritage and traditions with the expectations of a reward for yourselves. This smacks of piracy.

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