Even using the usual rule of thumb about art stories in the mainstream press where any small success can be touted far beyond its reality, CNN Style has a good story on the ways in which Australia’s Aboriginal artists are rebuilding the market that was crushed by the global credit crisis:
Aboriginal art often expresses “Dreamings” passed down to an artist by their ancestors — meaningful stories or images about life in the bush. Now with the explosion of social media these age old traditions are finding fresh audiences — which is a positive change according to [artist Sarrita] King, whose work sells for between $200 and $30,000.
“When you sit with some of these elders, they paint and then once their canvas is finished they’re happy for it to go,” she says. “It flows on. And then for them it’s about the next canvas. So I’m all about the story getting out there.”
Scott Linklater, manager of Artlandish Aboriginal Art Gallery in Kununnura, Northern Australia, has seen the benefits of getting the story out there. “It’s been astronomical the level of engagement we’ve had,” he says.
“We had a sale in March and I think we sold 13 paintings directly through Facebook. So it went from being a great place for sharing our work to being a bona fide sales method.”
King’s agent, Keith Murphy, says the overseas market is crucial: “There’s no doubt about it, Ithink international buyers are the biggest buyers of Aboriginal art.