Publication Details

G. C. Jones 2013 A Work in Progress University of Wollongong University of Wollongong University of Wollongong 4-24 April


Inspired by a recent visit to the Australian museum to view its collection of Aboriginal artefacts from south eastern Australian I felt motivated to know what was in the collection and to attempt to understand what it might feel like, and ultimately, what it might mean to craft such objects today. Beyond the desire to manufacture my own artefacts I had no knowledge of their history: who the people were that manufactured them in the first place, the contexts in which they were produced, or the motivations of those who produced them. What does it mean for Aboriginal people today, disconnected from such cultural practice, to ‘authenticate’ their own lives and their cultural identities through making such objects - once functional objects of material culture, subsequently objects of ethnographic inquiry, and now increasingly contemporary art? This body of work is a still tentative work in progress about cultural work in progress and the discourses that inform our understanding.