Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art, curated by Stephen Gilchrist, the Hood’s Curator of Indigenous Australian Art, opens to the public today for a run that extends until March 10, 2013. Gilchrist, formerly with the National Gallery of Victoria, also edited the 169-page catalog that accompanies the exhibition and features, along with full-color illustrations of the 113 paintings, sculptures, and photographs in the show, essays by Sally Butler, John Carty, Jennifer Deger, Françoise Dussart, N. Bruce Duthu, Stephen Gilchrist, Brian P. Kennedy, Howard Morphy, Will Owen, and Henry F. Skerritt.
I’ll have much more to say about both the exhibition and the superb catalog in the weeks ahead, probably starting next week when we travel up to Dartmouth for the official opening, which will feature a panel discussion with Brenda L. Croft, Hetti Perkins, Sonia Smallacombe, and artist Christian Thompson entitled “Together Alone: Politics of Indigeneity and Culture in Australia.” There’s a whole slate of events planned for the coming academic year. Among the first are an artist’s lecture by Thompson on September 25 and a September 27 address by Prof. Bob Tonkinson of the University of Western Australia, “Dreaming the Land, Living the Dream in Australia’s Western Desert.”
But for the moment I’ll share with you a tantalizing glimpse of one of the Museum’s galleries, bedecked with bark paintings, larrakitj, and morning star poles, that Stephen kindly forwarded to me (click on the images for larger versions). You can read a bit more about the exhibition and the Hood’s educational programs surrounding it in the latest issue of the Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (pp. 2, 10-12).