The Easel

Journeying Beyond Western Time in Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art

Ancient doesn’t necessarily mean primitive. Notwithstanding having the art world’s oldest lineage the critic Robert Hughes called Australian indigenous art “the last great art movement of the twentieth century”. A US show backs this up, containing works that “dazzle”. But behind this happy story lies a fraught relationship between indigenous peoples and mainstream Australia. Says one artist “We exist in Australia as a kind of non-people”.