Sue Bassett (ed.): The Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award 1984–2008

‘An achievement worth celebrating’

John Kean


The Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award 1984–2008: Celebrating 25 Years
edited by Sue Bassett
Charles Darwin University Press, $55 pb, 250 pp, 9780980665086


The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award is the major event on the Indigenous visual arts calendar. Its significance rests with the quality art exhibited under the mantle of the award and the crowd it attracts to Darwin every August. Artists from disparate communities mingle to cement relationships through shared kinship, songlines, and history. Excited coordinators from community cooperatives mix with urbane curators and gallery owners – projects are conceived. Collectors jostle to reserve the best works.

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John Kean

John Kean

John Kean is independent producer, curator, and writer. He is an Honorary Associate of the Museum Victoria, where he was a producer for fifteen years. John was the Thomas Ramsay Science and Humanities Fellow 2004 at the Museum, Exhibition Co-coordinator (Fremantle Arts Centre 1993–95), Inaugural Exhibition Co-coordinator (Tandanya: the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, 1989–92), and Art Advisor (Papunya Tula Artist Pty Ltd, 1977–79). He has recently curated exhibitions that bridge art, science, and the community. He is currently curating Crepuscular: The Wild Animals of Melbourne for the City of Melbourne, and a travelling exhibition, Eyeline: The Art of Science for Melbourne Museum. He has published extensively on Indigenous art and on the representation of nature in Australian museums.

Published in June 2011 no. 332

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