With all the recent talk over a possible Indigenous art gallery being established at Barangaroo it is a shame that no one has put two and two together and realised that this could help solve another problem all levels of government have been studiously ignoring.
Earlier this year, the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA – the state Government body set up to redevelop inner southern Sydney) told acclaimed Aboriginal artist Gordon Syron that the Aboriginal Keeping Place he runs in a Redfern warehouse would have to move. Sadly, the RWA didn’t provide any alternative venue for the magnificent art collection to move to so when it finally leaves its current location, in around a month, one of the most comprehensive collections of Australian Aboriginal art in NSW will be put in storage and forgotten.
The works currently collected into the Keeping Place could form a magnificent foundation for a brand new Aboriginal art gallery at Barangaroo – if only the political will were there. All levels of Government talk big on preserving, celebrating and interpreting Aboriginal culture and taking this amazing collection of artworks out of the storage vault to which it is soon to be condemned and putting it on display for the world to see would be a huge step in the right direction.
I have begun talks with both the RWA and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority but so far neither has committed to any concrete steps. Will they rise to the challenge or will their talk of inclusiveness turn out to be nothing more than hollow rhetoric?
Only time will tell.