National Survey of Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists
Production of art is one of the major avenues for providing incomes and economic opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is particularly true in remote towns, settlements, homelands and outstations across Australia, where cultural production is likely to be one of the most important means for providing a viable and culturally-relevant livelihood for members of the community. Indeed it can be suggested that in a number of such locations, the only feasible pathway towards long-term economic and cultural sustainability lies in the production and marketing of artistic goods and services, including the visual and performing arts, writing and storytelling as well as artistic production in newer formats such as film and audio-visual media.
In any context the making of art begins with the individual artist working alone or as a member of a group. There is a lot of information about the working circumstances of professional artists in the mainstream in Australia, but there are no reliable or comprehensive data on the conditions under which individual cultural production occurs in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The present proposal is for a project designed to fill that gap. It involves a nationwide survey of individual Indigenous artists working in remote areas in all forms of artistic and cultural production.
The project aims to yield benefits for cultural maintenance, Indigenous employment and participation, and community development. The results of the project will provide essential data on which to base new strategies for advancement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, and for the sustainable economic development of remote Indigenous communities.
Stage 1: Kimberley Region - Integrating Art Production and Economic Development in the Kimberley
Pilot project: East Arnhem Land - Remote Indigenous Cultural Practitioners in East Arnhem Land