It is an honour to participate and serve on the Indigenous Art Code Board of Directors. I have had a long standing interest in and respect for Australia’s Indigenous Culture and I became actively involved in the Indigenous Fine Art Industry in the late 1980s. At the time I was based in Europe and appointed as the European Director of Desert Designs. Desert Designs was a pioneering collaboration with the late, great Kimberley Artist, Jimmy Pike. Desert Designs introduced Jimmy’s art and designs to a world market. I helped organise early, major Exhibitions in both Paris and London, providing an opportunity for many Europeans to become familiar with and develop an understanding of Indigenous culture.
In 1992-93, I became the founding director of Japingka Gallery in Fremantle, Western Australia and am now co-director with David Wroth. Japingka Gallery has a full exhibition programme which showcases predominately Art Centre based Indigenous Fine Art. Japingka Gallery is also committed to promoting independent Indigenous Artists as well as Indigenous Artists who do not have access to Art Centres.
In 1998, I became a founding Board Member of the Australian Indigenous Art Trade Association (ART.TRADE). This, Indigenous Art dedicated trade association was set up to address many of the very issues that are still prevalent today and which have led to the current formation of the Government backed Code.
I strongly believe that an Industry-wide, Government backed Code of Conduct is the only way forward in order to safeguard the long term future of the Indigenous Fine Art Industry as well as provide a secure, more aware and supportive environment for Indigenous Artists. The Industry also needs to engender the trust and confidence of the general public and of existing and prospective Indigenous Art consumers. All of these areas are intrinsically linked. The Code provides a framework for a sustainable, transparent platform to build for the future as well as a basis for Industry Best Practice procedures. I look forward to serving with my highly qualified and experienced fellow Board members and I sincerely hope that together we can make a difference as well as engender an environment of openness and confidence in all who work within this Industry that is befitting of this proud and ancient Culture and the talented Indigenous Artists who paint their stories and their Country with such unique vision.
I urge all who are involved in the Indigenous Fine Art Industry to embrace the Code and become part of its future by becoming Code members.
Last updated: 22 June 2011, 2:22pm