Journal Blog 4; Aboriginal Art, Culture & Design

Opening The Door

How can we escape vibrancy? How can we escape a smile when greeted at the door? We can’t. We can embrace it, let it soak into our skin and take a moment to reflect on all that has come before us. And wonder.

**And no I didn’t realise it was Timothy Ritchie, CEO Tandanya, smiling HUGELY at me as I entered the Gallery until I started my research later. How impressive. Big smiles!! Like I did at the time.


The incredible beauty, colour, and intrigue that leap off canvases at Tandanya took me by surprise. I had taken a photo and Instagrammed before realising I shouldn’t, but it was such an impressive vision before me. Much of the artwork impressed me for its depth and layers of strength.

Its own website homepage states that Tandanya is owned and managed by the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc. It is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre and that Tandanya’s name reflects the organisation’s ongoing commitment to honour and respect the traditional owners and custodians for this country.


‘Tandanya’ is the Kaurna (pronounced Garna) word for ‘place of the Red Kangaroo’.

But these words don’t do Tandanya justice; nor does its front facade. A façade I have walked past a hundred times. They are both uninviting and dull. This is not meant as an ugly criticism, just my observation. More could be done. (I urge others to step inside and experience more.). Come on guys. All that vibrancy inside… let it free.

Of the artwork on display, I have said enough.

Of the Chinese exchange work. Naive. The Aboriginal Art Collection surrounding the Chinese works made them seem childlike and cartoonish. Almost silly with such a mature and inspiring surrounding.

I moved on.

Back out into the world. My thoughts and impressions went onto Facebook where conversation in my online community started around “Adelaide’s secret gem” “love that place” etc. Seriously, where have I been? Ignorant white person? Hahaa #lessonlearnt 


Thank you teacher.


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