The National Gallery of Australia has commissioned an independent review into an upcoming exhibition following allegations of non-Indigenous Australians contributing to Aboriginal artworks.
The Australian Newspaper published allegations earlier this week that white artists have been interfering in the creation of Indigenous art in APY Art Centre Collective studios.
In a statement the National Gallery has said that it will be reviewing the provenance, authorship and the extent of the “hand of assistance” of artworks featured in the upcoming exhibition.
APY ACC has denied the allegations saying that their studios meet the highest standard of professionalism, and that “true Industry experts understand the line between assistance at artists’ direction and inference with the artistic process.
The collective said it is offensive to hundreds of proud Anangu who work with APY to claim they would tolerate their artworks being tampered with.
APY said that other allegations that claim non Indigenous assistants have completed unfinished artworks were “defamatory” and have led to the collective taking legal advice.
The head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission supports proposals for establishing cultural tailored protections for Indigenous knowledge and cultural assets.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said that cultural assets need more protection.
“We do strongly support additional legislative conferring of protections, because we will not always be able to identify a breach of the Australian consumer law.
So we do think there needs to be a very specific new set of laws to give actual property and economic rights in Indigenous cultural assets,” she said.
Image Credit: Nick-D