Charles Darwin University

CDU eSpace
Institutional Repository

 
CDU Staff and Student only
 

Indigenous Livelihoods and Art Income: participation, production and returns from woodcarvings in Arnhem Land, north Australia

Koenig, Jennifer C., Altman, Jon C. and Griffiths, Anthony D. (2011). Indigenous Livelihoods and Art Income: participation, production and returns from woodcarvings in Arnhem Land, north Australia. Australian Geographer,42(4):351-369.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 82057923xPUB126
Title Indigenous Livelihoods and Art Income: participation, production and returns from woodcarvings in Arnhem Land, north Australia
Author Koenig, Jennifer C.
Altman, Jon C.
Griffiths, Anthony D.
Journal Name Australian Geographer
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 42
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0004-9182   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84860745294
Start Page 351
End Page 369
Total Pages 19
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Routledge
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Participation in the Indigenous visual arts sector provides one of few market opportunities for Indigenous Australians resident on remote Aboriginal lands. In this article we examine the economic factors that influence this market engagement as they relate to woodcarving in the Maningrida region of Arnhem Land. In particular, we look at the factors that affect participation, production and monetary returns using scan and focal sampling, resource accounting and sales data from the regional art centre. Artists were engaged in a range of activities of which art production was the prominent means of productive cash income generation. An artist's residence and also their language community were found to influence the amount of sculpture production undertaken, with artists residing on 'country' in the hinterland being more engaged in sculpture production than those living in the township of Maningrida. The annual income earned by an artist for carving was highly variable and a large proportion of woodcarvers also earned income from producing artwork in other media. Capital costs were relatively minor, with travel costs and labour the main input into carving production. Based on the average return for a single woodcarving, $160, we estimate the average hourly return to artists as between $12 and $14. Whilst this figure is relatively low and comparable to the Australian award wage for unskilled labour, the income earned from arts production makes an important contribution to people's livelihoods.
Keywords Indigenous art
woodcarving
Arnhem Land
non-timber forest product
economic sustainability
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049182.2011.619952   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 22 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 00:47:05 CST