Publication Details

McLean, I. A. (2005). Kuninjku modernism: new perspectives on Western Arnhem Land art. Artlink: Australian contemporary art quarterly, 25 (2), 48-51.


Many of Australia's most interesting artists are not based in the few large metropolitan centres in which other countries focus their cultural effort. The wellspring of the Indigenous art movement is the numerous small communities and outstations in remote Australia. Further, the tiny fraction of Australians who live in these settlements outperform other Australian artists, no matter what measure is used. In this respect Australia lives up to its Antipodean legend; here everything is back to front: the centre is the periphery and the periphery the centre. However there is another way of looking at it. Australia might be a single continent but it is several Countries or nations: a large 'civic' nation dominating the continent from its municipal hubs, and some thinly populated 'ethnic' Countries in the remote regions.

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