We Passionately Share Ethical Aboriginal Art at ART ARK
We're not just about showcasing Aboriginal Art; we're about doing it right. When you buy from ART ARK, you're not just buying art; you're making an ethical choice. But hey, don't just take our word for it. Dive deeper with us to understand why.
Our mission at ART ARK is twofold: to celebrate the remarkable Aboriginal Artists we've had the honour of meeting and to champion transparency. We want you, the art enthusiast, to be well-informed and confident in your choices.
Our journey started deep in remote Australia. To be honest, the Aboriginal Art scene was initially a bit of a puzzle to us. But as we spent more time there, it became clear that we needed to help others navigate it too. Let's demystify this together, ensuring you know the right questions to ask about the art you're thinking of bringing into your life.
The Not-So-Great Side of the Aboriginal Art Market
Now, if we're hammering on about ethics, it's because there's a flip side that's not so rosy. Ever heard of 'carpetbaggers'? These folks swoop into remote communities, buying Aboriginal Art at a shockingly low price. Picture this: they leave blank canvases and return later to collect the now invaluable artworks, often leaving the artist with just a pittance. The worst part? These dealings are everywhere, operating in plain sight, online, or in physical galleries. Sure, on the surface, everything seems above board. But scratch a little, and the underlying exploitation becomes glaringly evident.
Remember the old saying about a bird in hand? Well, the little money offered to these artists often means a lot, given their circumstances. But should they be short-changed when someone else reaps massive profits from their talent and heritage? Beyond the money, it's about recognising and not exploiting the challenges these communities face.
While the extreme instances of the past, where artists were imprisoned for profit, may be history, the core issue of exploitation lingers. It's disheartening to see eager art lovers being misled by dealers whose moral compasses have gone haywire.
Here's Why You Should Support Ethical Aboriginal Art
Take a moment. Truly look at the Aboriginal Art. You're seeing stories, traditions, and voices from a 65,000-year-old culture beautifully translated onto canvas.
The thriving Australian Indigenous art scene isn't just about creating beautiful pieces; it's a lifeline for many communities. Art centres dotted around Australia are more than just production houses. They're community hubs, preserving culture and traditions, offering vital support, and acting as economic anchors in regions where opportunities are limited.
The beauty of these centres? Each one is as diverse as the next, driven by the unique communities they represent. Be it stunning acrylics, earth pigment art, intricate screen-prints, or sculptures woven from fishing nets, they're all a testament to the boundless creativity of these communities. What's even better? These centres are governed by the artists themselves. They ensure a fair share of profits goes back into community development, be it cultural festivals, health initiatives, or even infrastructure projects.
So, Where Do You Stand?
We've laid it out for you – the art centres that genuinely uplift artists and communities and the unscrupulous lot that's out for a quick buck. We have a hunch you're leaning the right way.
But don't be disheartened. The world of Aboriginal Art is mesmerising. Embrace it, but with open eyes. Make sure your purchase has a clear provenance or evidence of fair payment to the artist.
ART ARK is a social enterprise not a non-for-profit and we do receive a commission from the art centres when we sell a work, this allows us to operate and to continue to promote ethical purchasing. Remember, everything at ART ARK is aligned with the principles set by the art centres themselves including pricing.
Most of us might never set foot in these remote regions. We at ART ARK count ourselves lucky to work so closely with these art centres.
So here's to you, our informed art lover. Share what you've learned, spark a conversation, and together, let's champion the cause of ethical art.