ANU painting postgraduate blog

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‘Art worlds’ Symposium

On the 19-20th of September the ANU Art history post-graduate alumni are hosting a symposium. They have extended the invitation to present to School of art post-grads. The theme for the Symposium is ‘Art Worlds’ or if you like anything influencing the production, distribution and reception of art. I am going to hopefully present a paper regarding a painter’s perspective on production; the intentions I have using painting as the medium to articulate my ideas- a modified version of a previous talk. Maybe other would like to consider framing their thoughts and join in the discussions, instead of being discussed about. Also preparing a talk helps that exegesis! Contact person is Sam Bowker ( The dealine for expressions of interest is Thursday 20th August.

Dear Colleague,

You are invited to present a paper at our upcoming Symposium for recent postgraduates of the ANU Department of Art History.

We are interested in your current research, and seek to present the widest possible range of themes and issues reflecting our discipline. This is an excellent opportunity to be visibly involved in our postgraduate community, and remain informed of the most recent directions being developed by Art Historians in the ANU.

The guiding theme for our 2009 Symposium is Art Worlds.

We see this concept as having a wide range of interpretations, particularly relating to the production, distribution, and reception of art. For example, your paper might examine the dynamic relationships between artists and critics, patrons and institutions, or specific artworks and their audiences. You may wish to explore art movements or cultural groups as independent and overlapping “art worlds”, or raise questions regarding inclusivity and exclusivity in the arts. You might discuss the “art industry” in a broader sense, such as the consequences of the art market, unscrupulous auction tactics, discipline-specific publications, art education strategies, and case studies in controversy. Your paper’s topic may be centred upon any century, location, or case study. For further ideas, consult Martin Irvine’s discussion through this link.

We would like this Symposium to raise critical and lively issues relating to how the “Art World” operates, and provide original “behind-the-scenes” insights for our audience.

Feel free to interpret this guiding theme to suit your own preferences. You may refer to any of the Symposium organisers if you have questions about your proposed topic.

We seek original papers of approximately 20 minutes in duration. Undergraduates and visitors from other institutions will also be invited to attend and participate in the discussion of postgraduate papers.

The “Art Worlds” Symposium will be convened by Sam Bowker, Denise Morgan and Luke Diggins. It will be held in the Humanities Conference Room, AD Hope Building (ANU) over the weekend of the 19-20th September 2009.

Please submit your abstracts (200-300 words) or an expression of interest (with at least two sentences describing your proposed paper) to all three convenors as soon as possible. The deadline for abstracts is Thursday 20th August 2009.

Further information:
Sam Bowker (
Denise Morgan (
Luke Diggins (


August 8, 2009 - Posted by | Forum, Symposium | ,


  1. I threw myself in the deep end (again) and submitted the following abstract:

    Sharing Culture: Art as an educational production within a global market economy.

    Fundamental to the production of art is a compulsion by an artist in a particular community to consolidate knowledge and project that site-specific cultural perspective outward. The individual cultural integrity of a community is a collective knowledge of place that protects and strengthens its members within a wider context of human interactions. Today those wider interactions, experienced by all of us, extend around the world due to the global market economy. Even the most remote communities must, in some way, negotiate with the global economy due to the conditions of growth driving markets. In this paper, I will introduce and reflect primarily upon the work of Luke Taylor and aspects of his research into art production in the Kunwinjku speaking communities of Western Arnhem Land published as Seeing the Inside: Bark Paintings in Western Arnhem Land 1996. My paper is also informed by the work of economist Jon Altman and discussions with Kunwinjku artists Graham Badari, Jimmy Galareya Namarnyilk, Clara, Juliet and Eva Nganjmirra, Injalak art centre president Wilfred Nawirridj, director Anthony Murphy and archaeologist Dr. Sally May during a recent visit to the Kunwinjku speaking community of Gunbalanya (Oenpelli).

    Comment by vanessa | August 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Because I know I should eat broccoli and I am trying to sort out this issue, this is what I am submitting:

      Exclusion Zones
      Guardians of the art world are ever vigilant. Most closely held is what image, object or process may be construed as worthy of reverential residence in the art world. Skirmishes between proponents of the decorative arts and Western painting have been rife since the late eighteenth century. Western painting has continually asserted its position of authority within the canon and the art world itself. Protectionism occurs to the extent that at times a profound amnesia occurs in protagonists regarding the cultural forces that influenced the historical and conceptual development of particular styles and movements. This paper examines the fraught relationship between ornamentation and Western painting and suggests that the evolution of twentieth century abstract painting was strongly informed by preceding discourse within the decorative arts; an influence soon forgotten.

      Comment by nickyjdickson | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. I’d just like to comment on how worthwhile it was to present at the symposium. It was an opportunity to share my research interests with the art history department and receive valuable feedback as to some of the debates and approaches concerning my topic. It was interesting to talk to phd students in history about their research topics afterwoods, the ‘practice’ dimensions of my phd really intrigued some people (painting as research is a fairly bizarre concept for most non-artists, but I hope not for art writers!).

    Comment by vanessa | September 22, 2009 | Reply

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