Transculturation and counter-narratives: The life and art of the Wurundjeri artist William Barak | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Cultural Reimaginings of New Zealand and Australia
  • ISSN: 2050-4039
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4047

Abstract

A few decades ago the culture of Aboriginal Australians was believed to have been removed or assigned to the margins. It was considered static and primitive, produced by uncivilized and barbaric peoples. Since the 1980s the view has been successfully challenged and recent art histories produced in settler colonial countries emphasize that Indigenous cultures were neither stuck in the past nor resistant to change. Its development was due to contact between the Indigenous and settler societies and the cross-cultural interactions the contact engendered in political, social and artistic life. This was often against the backdrop of conquest and displacement, which was the result of colonization. Adopting as the main frame of the discussion the theory of transculturation and the concept of counter-narrative from cultural studies, this article will show these different types of encounters and their influence on the life and art of William Barak, a nineteenth-century Aboriginal Australian statesman, leader of a Woi Wurrung nation and an artist. It will also show – again through transculturation – what trajectory the Australian mainstream society followed from initial separation and exclusion, through assimilation to an integration of Indigenous Australians in the artistic and social life. The counter-narrative concocted on the basis of those encounters produces a nuanced picture of loss, survival and strength as experienced by William Barak and his peoples.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/nzps_00092_1
2022-06-01
2024-05-22
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bonyhady, Tim, and Hinkson, Melinda. ( 2015;), ‘ The drawing master: Andrew Sayers’ Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century. ’, Australian Book Review, 377, pp. 19.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Broome, Richard. ( 2010), Aboriginal Australians: A History since 1788, , 4th ed.., Crows Nest:: Allen & Unwin;.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Clark, Ian D.. ( 2016), ‘A Peep at the Blacks’: A History of Tourism at Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, 1863–1924, Warsaw:: De Gruyter Open Poland;.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Cooper, Carol. ( 1994;), ‘ Traditional visual culture in south-east Australia. ’, in Andrew Sayers. (ed.), Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century, Melbourne:: Oxford University Press;, pp. 91109.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Dutton, Geoffrey. ( 1974), WHITE ON BLACK: The Australian Aborigine Portrayed in Art, Melbourne:: Macmillan;.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Edmonds, Fran, and Clarke, Maree. ( 2009;), ‘ Sort of like reading a map. ’, A Community Report on the Survival of South-East Australian Aboriginal Art since 1834, Darwin:: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health;.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Gellatly, Kelly. ( 2013;), ‘ When the wattles bloom again: The Barak Project. ’, Art Journal, 51, https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/essay/when-the-wattles-bloom-again-the-barak-project/. Accessed 17 May 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Gillison, Joan. ( 1979;), ‘ Bon, Ann Fraser (1838–1936). ’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University;, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bon-ann-fraser-5284/text8911. Accessed 7 February 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Grishin, Sasha. ( 2015), Australian Art: A History, Carlton:: The Miegunyah Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Hauser, Arnold. ( 1957), The Social History of Art, New York:: Vintage Books and Random House;.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Herzog, Melanie Anne, and Stolte, Sarah Anne. ( 2012;), ‘ American Indian art: Teaching and learning. ’, Wicazo Sa Review, 27:1, pp. 85109.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Howitt, A. W.. ( 1904), The Native Tribes of South-East Australia, London:: Macmillan;.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Jones, Jonathan. ( 2018;), ‘ Murruwaygu: Following in the footsteps of our ancestors. ’, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Sydney:: University of Technology Sydney;, https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/handle/10453/133196. Accessed 20 July 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Lear, Jonathan. ( 2008), Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, Cambridge, MA:: Harvard University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Lydon, Jane. ( 2002;), ‘ The experimental 1860s: Charles Walter’s images of Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, Victoria. ’, Aboriginal History, 26, pp. 78130.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Marcard, Patricia. ( 1969;), ‘ Barak, William (1824–1903). ’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University;, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/barak-william-2930/text4239. Accessed 10 December 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. McLean, Ian. (ed.) ( 2014), Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne:: Cambridge Scholars Publishing;.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. McLean, Ian. ( 2016), Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art, London:: Reaktion Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Miller, Angela L.,, Berlo, Janet Catherine,, Wolf, Bryan J., and Roberts, Jennifer L.. (eds) ( 2008), American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity, Upper Saddle River, NJ:: Pearson Education;.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Morphy, Howard. ( 2001;), ‘ Seeing Aboriginal art in the gallery. ’, Humanities Research, 8:1, pp. 3750.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Ortiz, Fernando. ( 1995), Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar (trans. H. De Onis), Durham, NC and London:: Duke University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Patten, Herb. ( 1994;), ‘ William Barak and the affirmation of tradition. ’, in Helen Penrose. (ed.), Brunswick: One History, Many Voices, South Melbourne:: Victoria Press;, pp. 1822.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Pohl, Frances K.. ( 2008), Framing America: A Social History of American Art, , 2nd ed.., New York:: Thames and Hudson;.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Rama, Ángel. ( 2008), Transculturación Narrativa en América Latina, Buenos Aires:: Siglo XXI Editores Argentina;.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Romanowska, Jadwiga. ( 2013;), ‘ Transkuturowość czy transkulturacja? O Perypetiach pewnego bardzo modnego terminu. ’ (‘Transculturality or transculturation? On the history of a very famed concept’) , Zeszyty Naukowe Towarzystwa Doktorantów UJ, Nauki Humanistyczne, 6:1, pp. 14353.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Ryan, Judith. ( 2003), Remembering Barak, Melbourne:: National Gallery of Victoria;.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Sayers, Andrew. ( 1994), Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century, Melbourne:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Sayers, Andrew. ( 2001), Australian Art, Oxford and New York:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Wiencke, Shirley. ( 1984), When the Wattles Bloom: The Life and Times of William Barak, Last Chief of the Yarra, Yarra Tribe, Woori Yallock:: S.W. Wiencke;.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Wilczyńska, Elżbieta. ( 2022;), ‘ Transculturation and counter-narratives: The life and art of the Wurundjeri artist William Barak. ’, Journal of New Zealand & Pacific Studies, 10:1, pp. 5167, https://doi.org/10.1386/nzps_00092_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/nzps_00092_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/nzps_00092_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error