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C O U R S E 
Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender
Jeanette Hoorn, The University of Melbourne
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Australian Indigenous Visual Culture
Notes taken on March 21, 2020 by Edward Tanguay
contemporary indigenous art
gathering momentum in Australia from the 1970s onwards
indigenous visual culture is the longest continuous art form on the planet
50,000 years
prior to contact by Europeans, its locus was
primary ceremony
largely ephemeral
following the work of bark painters and sculptors in Arnhem land in the Tiwi Islands
laid the ground work for revolution in indigenous art
artists at Papunya transferred designs onto small sheets of composition board
before that only visible on ceremonial ground
women not allowed to paint
before this art
Papunya art was viewed as artifact
a curiosity
not deserved to be considered as equivalent as art
Papunya art was seen as art
not works for use in ceremony
they were largely geometric, seemingly abstract
dots form an important part of iconography
cave walls
used on the body and on the ground
term: "dot painting"
these painting showed the actions of ancestral beings
from a place called the Jokepa
art was bequeathed to next generations
the spirit of a person comes from a particular place in the landscape to which the person will return when they pass away
continuous life cycle
the position of women in traditional society
the emergence of women as artists
the 1980s the first time to work as artists in their own right
women began painting at Yuendumu, Lajamanu and Balgo
in discussion with men gained permission to use dots because dots belonged to men
their works were about their responsibilities to country
less formal than those of men
Emily, Cara, and Laura were leading artists in this society
one canvas of Emily's
was reproduced on the cover of the group's publication
women's linear designs was covered by a field of dots
used to be the predominant iconography of Papunya men's painting
what was happening at Yuendumu or Balgo
collectors wanted to see more of Emily's works
but she had no knowledge of any contemporary art movement