Our next instalment
Pablo Picasso famously stated, “art is a lie that makes us realise the truth” – this is why I love the Henderson Gallery so much. The Henderson Gallery is based in central Brisbane having recently uprooted from South Bank.
The gallery supports Indigenous artists and is 100% Wiradjuri, First Nations owned operating within an empathic, self-determinate model of enterprise. The focus of the gallery is to support, promote, manage, exhibit, develop, advocate on behalf of, educate and mentor artists and audiences who would otherwise not have the opportunity.
Robert Henderson, the principal artist and Suzanne Goodchild, have created a space the tells a story and offers a sophisticated yet welcoming vibe. Robert and Susan are always on site to provide the insight and meaning behind the work on display. Should you require a little pick me up, there is an on-site café to support your caffeine needs or a cellar door should that interest you (it certainly peaks my interest).
Indigenous Art has been in the media a lot more than normal recently. The past couple of years has seen a Federal Inquiry into Fake Indigenous Art, the impacts and the prevalence of this. Fake art is a massive issue impacting artists across the country and the state of Queensland. Can you imagine pouring your heart, soul and creative energy into a piece of work and then someone sending it to China, having it reproduced across hundreds of thousands of souvenirs and then as the artist getting nothing, not even recognised? Well that’s just one of the ways that Indigenous artists are being ripped off.
Thankfully, the likes of Robert are also working with Indigenous artists to mentor them, ensuring that they get a fair go and aren’t ripped off. We can’t wait to watch Robert in action as he comes to our DestinationIQ event in November to mentor some industry colleagues on the Sunshine Coast and demonstrate his craft in an open marketplace. It’s no coincidence that he won the Queensland Tourism Award for New Tourism Business in his first year of operation, this place truly is worth a look.
What can you do as a consumer looking for Indigenous art? Well heading to a reputable gallery like the Henderson Gallery is a great start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the origin of the art, ask about the artist and the story they are telling with their incredible work. Also look out for the letters of authenticity. It’s time to wise up to what we’re buying and make sure we are supporting the right people!