This week, the focus question threw me a little bit because I was under the impression we already display Indigenous art. But I thought about this further – we don’t have a museum dedicated only to Indigenous work. Yes, there may be an entire level of the National Art Gallery in Canberra used only for such works, but there isn’t an entire gallery. There are a number of reasons why there might not be an Indigenous gallery like in New Zealand and Canada, but I think the main reason is to do with the fact that Australia wants to preserve the integrity of the ancient Indigenous artworks. Another reason could be because Australia is such a multicultural country that by creating a museum only for Indigenous work could create segregation and alienation, i.e. Japanese people may feel left out because their art isn’t in an individual gallery.
In the end, we won’t really know why we don’t have an Indigenous art gallery, but for now I think what we have in our art galleries across the nation is pretty damn good.
– Annabelle Amos