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Marking ground: finding a sense of place in a remote Indigenous community on the Tiwi Islands
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posted on 21.02.2017by McMaster, Anne
This research project explores the development of my art practice whilst living in the remote indigenous community of Pickataramoor, on the Tiwi Islands in tropical Northern Australia. This remote location combines the challenges of making art in isolation, while drawing inspiration from the geography of the indigenous landscape.
The influence of AFL football on contemporary Indigenous culture provides a means of formulating a connection with my own family, due to my father playing and coaching many teams throughout his life. Football culture influenced my lifestyle during my formative years in the Western District of Victoria. The forms of the football oval and the architectural
rectangle louvred window have influenced how I can use printmaking techniques to
contextualize place and space within landscape.
Marking Ground references mark making on a printmakers etching plate, and to the physical act of taking a mark during a game of AFL football. Football and oval shapes can be seen as contemporary artefacts, while louvred window shapes offers metaphysical western society views on to the indigenous landscape from my home and studio.
Texts contributing to my research are Lucy Lippard's Lure or the Local, Yi-Fu Tuan's Space and Place, and Graeme Sullivan's Research Acts in Art Practice. When combined, these authors' theories are conceptually elaborated, offering a space to formulate my art practice.
Jennifer Isaac's publication of Tiwi: Art/ History/ Culture, sources Tiwi culture while
highlighting community art centres and their artists.
Community and student's artwork will be critiqued as a means to enquire into the
representation of the socio-cultural settings on the Tiwi Islands, and the development of my own artwork.
The outcome of my research will be an exhibition of a body of art work which shows an exploration and refinement of how I perceived my sense of place, while working as an artist away from my family and country of my childhood in Victoria to that of a remote Indigenous community in Northern Australia. A written exegesis will be the dialogue that accompanies the artwork, which justifies the exploration and production of my research.