Just outside the town of Wheatbelt, York, is the Cave Hill Farm, a sacred place for the indigenous Baladon people.
- WA art display withdrawn after claims of indigenous diversion of sacred places
- The artist says he followed the protocol and got permission from the official caretaker.
- The problem has sparked a debate about how diversion claims are processed.
Once a place for men’s business, this property was used for admission ceremonies and previously had an exhibition of indigenous rock art.
However, this place is now the center of cultural debate.
The exhibition by renowned artist Tim Burns was removed from Gallery 152 in York just five days after the one-month exhibition, after being criticized for diverting Aboriginal culture.
“I was shocked-we didn’t give him permission.”
The exhibition featured photographs of a nearby quarry, describing the history of the importance of Cave Hill.
This text was criticized by several members of the local Kickett family, including Marion Kickett, a former Curtin University professor.
“That’s wrong. He shouldn’t have put up with it,” she said.
Her nephew Rohin Kickett, a Noongar artist, also pushed to remove some of the displays.
“We created these artworks, talked about the sacred place and its importance, and he acquired intellectual property and used it for personal gain,” he said.
Behind the work is Tim Burns, an award-winning artist who has been active in national and international galleries until the 1970s.
He denied violating the cultural protocol and said he had spoken to the official caretaker before proceeding with the project.
“They came and edited everything they didn’t think was applicable, and I agreed with it,” he said.
“My job is to find out what’s controversial. That’s what I’ve been doing for about 60 years.”
Burns has worked with indigenous artists for decades to win an award for his short film, the Luke’s Party., Made with Aboriginal director Ross Sultan.
He once owned a quarry and wanted the show to explain why he bought the land.
“I saw it as a metaphor for black and white politics … I realized that having a quarry next to the site was like the situation in the Jukan Canyon,” he said. ..
However, Professor Kickett said a famous artist misunderstood the gallery.
“I was shocked … I never talked to Tim-never gave him permission,” she said.
A spokesman for Gallery 152 told the community that he chose to remove the display because he didn’t want to hurt or cause pain.
Different views among the locals
The case highlighted different views on how diversion is treated and where permission should be sought.
Some insist that some of the displays have been removed correctly, but Baradon’s elder and artist Dennis Kickett said he has a different perspective.
After the text was changed, he didn’t see any problems with the display.
“Some things shouldn’t have been put up, so I told Tim about it, and Tim understands it,” he said.
“I disagree with Rohin [Kickett, his nephew], A young man … making these remarks. He does not represent our family. “
However, Rohin, who has worked for years to advise organizations on cultural appropriation, said Burns had no right to misrepresent his family and share information about sacred places.
“For me and the next generation of Nounger artists, if they want to explore these things, they should have the space to explore them.
“It should not be taken up by non-indigenous artists.”
“I thought I did what I was supposed to do,” Burns said.
“The big problem here, and what we should pay attention to, is this complete censorship of the interaction between indigenous peoples and white artists … it’s a multicultural situation.”
Post , Has been updated