Puzzles and Problems with Art Appropriation

Free Public Lecture

Puzzles and Problems with Art Appropriation

Buxton Contemporary
Buxton Contemporary
Cnr Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street


Appropriation is a part of the artist's creative toolkit. When is it wrong to appropriate art?

Icons, patterns and objects that are part of a culture are sometimes used by art-makers and curators. They might be re-presented with or without the collaboration or permission of the source. And there may be little or no transformation of the original.

Is the appropriation of Indigenous art and knowledge different from other forms of cultural appropriation?

How might appreciation of contemporary Indigenous arts be different from objects that have secret or sacred significance?

Is there a point where something is transformed enough to no longer require the permission of the owners?

What counts as collaboration and permission anyway?

Does curating always involve some transformation? When does a curator become an art-maker?

Not all problems have answers but there are always good questions to be asked. This panel is different. The focus is on finding the questions on art appropriation.

Add your questions in your RSVP while registering, and we will try to include them in the program.

This event is presented in partnership with the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, the Centre of Visual Art, Faculty of Arts and School of Historical & Philosophical Studies.


  • Dr Elizabeth  Burns Coleman
    Dr Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Monash University
  •  Tiriki Onus
    Tiriki Onus, Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development
  • Dr Jaye Early
    Dr Jaye Early, Victorian College of the Arts
  •  Margo Neale
    Margo Neale, Australian National University
  • Professor Robyn Sloggett
    Professor Robyn Sloggett, Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation
  •  Janet Turpie-Johnstone
  •  Paul O'Halloran
    Paul O'Halloran, University of Melbourne