Brisbane Exhibition Celebrates the French Influence on Aboriginal Art

Brisbane Exhibition Celebrates the French Influence on Aboriginal Art

A fantastic exhibition of Aboriginal women painters which explores the influence that the French have had on the global perception of Australian Aboriginal art is currently on show at the Alliance Française de Brisbane in Brisbane, Queensland.

Curated by International Development for Australian Indigenous Art (IDAIA), and developed in partnership with the Embassy of France in Australia, the exhibition titled Gestuelles celebrates France’s role in the global development and recognition of Australian Indigenous art.


Gestuelles features the work of female Aboriginal artists from desert communities where the emergence of acrylic painting and the understanding of women’s role have significantly been encouraged by two prominent French women anthropologists : Françoise Dussart in Yuendumu and Barbara Glowczeski in Balgo Hills.

First held in Australia’s capital Canberra from 23 May to 15 June 2012 to coincide with the 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia, Gestuelles is an exploration of the gestures of women’s painting spanning the younger emerging artists to senior painters like international star Judy Napangardi Watson.

According to a press release from the IDAIA, “The strong, historical links between France and Aboriginal art offer a rich and fertile background – from the research and writing works of French ethnologists and anthropologists, their interventions in Aboriginal art communities, to the development of important public Aboriginal art collections in France and the exceptional Australian Indigenous Art Commission at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.”

Since its creation in 2008, IDAIA has been dedicated to increasing the presence and the appreciation of a quality and ethical Australian Indigenous art among international audiences, through educating, curating, sourcing and facilitating numerous exhibition and acquisition projects.