Originality and representation: contemporary aesthetics and traditional continuity in the work of Billy Missi and Arone Meeks

Milledge, Russell (2009) Originality and representation: contemporary aesthetics and traditional continuity in the work of Billy Missi and Arone Meeks. In: Proceedings of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Symposium 2009, pp. 57-62. From: Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Symposium 2009 , 21 August 2009, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Through this paper the work of Aboriginal artist Arone Meeks and Torres Strait Islander artist Billy Missi is examined in the context of an Indigenous art market. While these two artists are based in Northern Australia what strategies and directions are open to them finding their market? What expectations are placed on them to represent their culture? Both Arone Meeks and Billy Missi are celebrated for their contemporaneity yet their art deals with issues of tradition and continuity. Meeks feels a physical reaction to his country that helps forge relationships with kinship, a sense of self and ‘renewing the dreaming’. His art is not governed by the same barriers and protocols that govern traditional Aboriginal art, but is placed in the context of the contemporary urban. As an urban Aboriginal that inhabits a world in proximity to traditional cultural lands and communities, he describes his practice by saying, “I am hunting for lost pieces of myself.” For Billy Missi there is much sensitivity about the nature of authorship concerning elaborations of cultural knowledge. Cultural stories reach deep definitions of ritual and ancestral identity. Cultural knowledge is owned collectively and the whole community are the beneficiaries. It is then inappropriate for a single artist to benefit exclusively from their commercial exploitation. As each artist has found, or is looking for, a signature style or gesture, to distinguish themselves in what has become an oversaturated market, are they able to maintain sensitivity to kinship and moiety?

Item ID: 11179
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: Indigenous art; Billy Missi; Arone Meeks; North Queensland; Torres Strait Islander
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Conference theme "Conversations, insights and anecdotes"

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ISBN: 978-0-646-52896-0
Date Deposited: 28 May 2010 01:36
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190502 Fine Arts (incl Sculpture and Painting) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
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