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Join writer and researcher John Kean as he talks about artists who were central to the formulation of contemporary desert art.
Forty-five years ago Kaapa Tjampitjinpa and Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula were central to the formulation of contemporary desert art. Standing out among an exceptional cohort, they deployed their inherited iconography while exploring poetic possibilities offered by paint on canvas.
John Kean will discuss the individual achievement of these artists, and the legacy they passed to contemporary Papunya artists.
An independent producer, curator, and writer, John has an enduring relationship with Western Desert artists having worked as adviser to Papunya Tula Artists (1977-79) and interim administrator for Pintupi Homelands Health Service (1984-85). He will share observations derived from working and writing about this renowned location.
John Kean is an Honorary Associate of the Museum Victoria, where he was a producer for 15 years. He was the Thomas Ramsay Science and Humanities Fellow 2004 (Museum Victoria), 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).
John has curated many exhibitions that bridge art, science, and the community; they include, East to West: land in Papunya Tula painting, Murray Cod: the biggest fish in the River, Crepuscular: The Wild Animals of Melbourne and The Art of Science: remarkable natural history illustrations from Museum Victoria. He has published extensively on Indigenous art and on the representation of nature in Australian museums.
Registration and bookings
RMIT Gallery is located at 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, near the corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets (Melways reference: 1A J4).
The gallery is located diagonally opposite Melbourne Central Railway Station and can be reached by trams traveling on Swanston and La Trobe Streets, including the City Circle Tram.
Limited street parking is available.