Thursday, December 13, 2007

Australian Shame: Aboriginal Artists Centre Closes

One of the inspiring things about Broome has been Djugun Tribal Creations.

Djugun Tribal Creations is a not for profit organisation providing support and training to Broome’s emerging Artists. Tucked away in the light Industrial area of Clementson Street, we feature work from 21 artists including award winning artists Sue Poelina and Miguel Castillion.

Consisting of 3 onsite studios and a well presented Gallery, Djugun offers the experience of free daily tours. Visitors have the opportunity to meet artists and enjoy a cultural exchange while viewing the artists in action producing not only canvas painting, ceramics, sculptures and carved feature tiles as well.

In 2006 Djugun Tribal Artists in residence received high acclaim, NAIDOC Kimberley Artist of the Year, NAIDOC Kimberley Artist (most commended), and finalists in the MEMENTO Awards (National). These high profile emerging Artists are now finding their work in high demand. Unique one off designs depicting traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Art and local non-indigenous artworks are finding homes all over the state and worldwide.

Never take anything for granted. The business was closing its doors today and emptying out all its equipment and stock. While we were busy defeating the Howard government, Djugun was defeated by the CDEP changes and other government bureaucracy. It has been a model for other aboriginal enterprises and its group of more than 20 artists have won numerous awards.

Photo: Broome potters get fired up (ABC Kimberley 16 april 2005)

We were shocked and stunned by the news. Sue Poelina, an award winning artist shown in the photo, predicted today that they would rise again, hopefully without the need or help of governments that have let them down.

Best of luck! The rest of us should hang our heads in shame.

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1 comment:

Carol Omer said...

Holding the Vision for the centre to re-emerge with even more strength and unity than before!

The dismantling of CDEP is another example of the erosion of self determination not unlike the demise of ATSIC where it was seen to wipe it out rather than address the challenges and (perceived) problems.

Perhaps all of the Artists could come together and use the power of Vision and a shared Dream to 'paint' in the new Centre.
We have been creating new Dreams in our Women's Empowerment group and you can see a small clip here:
The Art of Change Women's Empowerment Program:

Please let me know if you think Nungala and I could contribute to the process of re-emergence of the Art Centre.

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