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Building bridges + connecting culture : creative collaboration with artists from the Tiwi Islands

Anderson, Stephen (2015). Building bridges + connecting culture : creative collaboration with artists from the Tiwi Islands. PhD Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Anderson, Stephen
Title Building bridges + connecting culture : creative collaboration with artists from the Tiwi Islands
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2015-03
Thesis Type PhD
Supervisor Zemits, Birut I.
1905 - Visual Arts and Crafts
Abstract Working collaboratively is an attempt to transcend the continued polarisation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations. This practice based research focuses on intercultural creative collaboration with artists from the Tiwi Islands. The process of participation of ten Tiwi artists is described and analysed in this project wherein collaborative works in multiple media were produced, culminating in an exhibition with the author who is a non-Indigenous artist. These works, in painting, print and sculptural form, are produced to extend the conversation about the concept of relatedness between Indigenous and non–Indigenous people living in Australia today. It represents an alternative site that navigates a position between new narratives and cooperative endeavour within the field of creative arts practice.

This work seeks to challenge dominant power structures, acknowledging the practicalities of transitional social justice to include traditional Indigenous knowing systems as valid and equally contributing forces. A ‘third space’ is envisioned where collaborative performance based actions address the understanding that personal development is foundational in the healing process that begins with self and is developed with another.

Considered and developmental artworks were produced together in an attempt to determine a commonality based on developing trust. The resultant patterns woven together attest to artworks that intend to reflect mutual respect and a sustained commitment to working collaboratively. The notion of reciprocity as a way of developing relationships and building bridges of understanding is given a visual dimension through the works produced together.
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