Desart’s submission to the House of Representatives November 2017

Inquiry into the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘style’ art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia.

It hurts us when people make fake Aboriginal art because that breaks our Law, our rights to our apmere and our atweye. When Aboriginal Law and our Ancestors are disprespected we feel terrible pain and fear for ourselves and our families. We don’t know how to make it right, to heal the pain and protect the Law again, unless we get support from the wider community to solve this problem. In the old days we painted our bodies, on the ground and in caves – we still do this today, but we paint on canvas and make all kinds of art in out art centres. In this way we are able to earn money that support our atweye but also its another way we can share our culture with our young ones and other people from across Australia and the world.

Our Art is altyerre (creation of) our painting, dancing and singing, it is all part of our altyerre and this makes us strong. We must keep our culture strong because that is what makes our art strong and makes us strong.

Jane Young, artist at Tangentyere Artists, Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and current Desart Chairperson