A leading curator of Indigenous art in Australia, Hetti Perkins, has resigned her position at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in protest over the lack of resources and attention paid to her department, according to the Sydney Morning Herald:
While the Yiribana Gallery had remained unchanged in the building’s lowest level, new Asian and contemporary wings had opened and most other galleries, as well as the shop and cafe, had had makeovers.
In June the gallery announced that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art would become a separate department, but so far this had not happened.
Perkins had asked to see the master plan but this had been refused.
”We would like to make a contribution,” Perkins said. ”It’s not about politics. It’s about how can we work together to make the art gallery the institution it should be and could be.”
Although Perkins has curated many exhibitions, including the landmark Papunya Tula: Genesis & Genius, and recently made the documentary series Art + Soul, no major indigenous shows had been approved.
”Maybe the shows I’m proposing are not ones management is interested in.
”If that’s the case, I should go and somebody who can be a better advocate in the building should take my place,” Perkins said. The mainstreaming of indigenous culture had failed, she said.
Letter Reveals Frustration that Led Perkins to Quit (Sydney Morning Herald)