Australia-India Council (AIC)

Australia-India Council Annual Report 1999-2000
Mr A N Roy and Mr John Clark AM

The Council funded a visit by Mr A N Roy, Registrar of the National School of Drama, New Delhi (right) to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney in October–November 1999 as part of a continuing staff exchange program to promote the sharing of information and expertise between the two national theatre training institutions. Mr Roy is pictured with NIDA Director Mr John Clark AM. (NIDA)

Contents

Letter to Minister >> Introduction >> Chairman’s message >> Board members >> Mission statement, aims and objectives

Activities
Funding Application Process >> Australian studies >> Commerce >> Education >> Indian studies >> Institutional and professional links >> Performing and visual arts >> Print and electronic media and film >> Public awareness >> Science and technology >> Sport

Administrative overview >> Appendix: Australia–India Trust Account Financial Statements 1999–2000

Performing and visual arts

The objective of the Council’s performing and visual arts program is to develop in India and Australia an appreciation of the quality, diversity and sophistication of each country’s performing and visual arts. The program includes projects in arts management.

Nick McBride and Hammersmith

During his residency at the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad from September to December 1999, Australian percussionist, composer and band leader Nick McBride (centre) worked with several local musical ensembles including the band Hammersmith. Mr McBride is playing a set of drums made for him by a local Indian traditional instrument maker on the basis of photographs in a catalogue. (courtesy Nick McBride)

The Council’s major visual arts activity during 1999–2000 was an Indigenous artists exchange and exhibition at the Crafts Museum in New Delhi in November and December 1999, coinciding with the Council’s visit to India. Australian Indigenous artists Mr Djambawa Marawili and Ms Kathy Marawili from Yirrkala in the Northern Territory joined Indian tribal artists Mr Jangarh Singh Shyam and Ms Bhuri Bai, both from Madhya Pradesh, in a residency at the Crafts Centre.

The exhibition, entitled Gapu Miny’tji, comprised Indigenous Australian bark paintings, prints and carvings drawn from a wide range of sources, with context provided by full documentation of each work, recorded Aboriginal music, and the use of a video monitor to show relevant films from Film Australia’s Yirrkala Film Project.

The Australian and Indian artists collaborated on two works combining elements from their respective cultures. One of these works was presented by the Australian High Commissioner, Mr Rob Laurie AO, to the Crafts Museum at the conclusion of the exchange, and the second work was presented to the President of India, Mr K R Narayanan, during the Council’s meeting with the President on 17 November 2000.

The exhibition and exchange, which attracted widespread and very positive Indian news media coverage, was managed by Mr Anthony Bourke of the Hogarth Galleries in Sydney on behalf of a consortium comprising the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National University. The exhibition was curated by Mr Djon Mundine of the National Museum of Australia, and the artists were accompanied by Mr Andrew Blake, the art coordinator of the Buku-Larrnjgay Mulka Centre at Yirrkala.

The Portraying a Nation photographic exhibition on Australia by Indian photographer Satish Sharma, jointly funded by the Council and the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, was exhibited in Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta and Mumbai from September 1999 to February 2000. The exhibition, which had been inaugurated in New Delhi in March 1999, was well received in each of the cities and attracted considerable news media coverage. Portraying a Nation featured photographs taken during a visit to Australia by Mr Sharma in August–September 1998, and recorded aspects of the Australian landscape and Australian life, with particular emphasis on families and multiculturalism.

Susan Grace and Helen Geier

Ms Susan Grace, First Secretary of the Australian High Commission, New Delhi (right) lights a lamp to inaugurate the AIC-funded exhibition of lithographs by printmaker Ms Helen Geier of Braidwood NSW (left) at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi in February 2000. (Australian High Commission)

People in gallery

The exhibition of lithographs by printmaker Helen Geier at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi during February 2000 attracted strong interest. The Australian High Commission arranged for the exhibition to be repeated in Chennai and Calcutta in April and May 2000. (Australian High Commission)

The Council provided funding to the Nataraj Cultural Centre towards costs of the concert tour of Australia in February and March 2000 by leading Indian violinist Dr Lakshminarayanan Subramaniam and accompanying musicians. The concerts in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth were marked by the diversity of the audiences and the enthusiasm of their response.

The Council provided funding to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney, to enable a visit by Mr A N Roy, Registrar of the National Drama School, New Delhi, to NIDA in October–November 1999 to share information on teaching and administration between the two national theatre training institutions.

With funding from the AIC, the Australia Council and the Asialink Centre, Australian percussionist, composer and band leader Nick McBride undertook a residency at the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad from September to December 1999. During his residency, Mr McBride composed a work to be performed by the Darpana Performing Group, choreographed by prominent Indian dancer Ms Mallika Sarabhai. He also worked on another production with the performing group, played with several local musical ensembles, learned the rudiments of the South Indian mridangam drums and provided tutoring on drum sets.

With funding provided by the Council during 1998–99, the Queensland Art Gallery brought several Indian artists and curators to participate in the Third Asia–Pacific Triennial in Brisbane from September 1999 to January 2000. Artist Sonabai and her son and assistant Doroga Ram, together with Shilpa Gupta (assistant to artist Rumana Hussain who had died shortly prior to the Triennial and whose last work was included in the exhibition), and curators and critics Gulammohammed Sheikh and Dr Jyotindra Jain, all provided an important and distinctive presence in this major and highly influential regional art exhibition.

The Council provided funding to printmaker Ms Helen Geier of Braidwood NSW to undertake a residency and exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi in February to March 2000. Ms Geier’s exhibition aroused very strong interest and was also displayed in Chennai and Calcutta during April and May 2000 with additional funding from the Australian High Commission, New Delhi.

The Council also provided funding to painter Mr Karl Weibke of Perth to undertake a residency at the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, New Delhi, from October to December 1999.

The Council agreed to provide funding to Mr Robert Bednarik of the Australian Rock Art Research Association (AURA) towards costs of a four-week visit to Australia by Dr K K Chakravarty, Director of the Indira Gandhi National Museum of Man; and to Dr Giriraj Kumar, Secretary of the Rock Art Society of India, to participate in the Third AURA Congress in Alice Springs in July 2000, to gain familiarity with rock art research techniques in Northern Australia, and to participate in a preparatory meeting in Australia for a planned international commission to examine and test an important rock art discovery in the Chambal Valley in central India.

The Council agreed to provide funding to the Australian Institute of Eastern Music to support a project to transfer to compact disc a collection of rare tape recordings of Hindustani and Karnatic classical music performers made in India in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s by the late Mr Bill Coates, who had moved to Australia after making the recordings.

The Council provided funding to arts management consultants Mr David Fishel of Positive Solutions, Brisbane, and Mr William Gillespie of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts to participate in seminars and workshops conducted by the Sanskriti Institute of Management for Cultural Organisations in New Delhi in December 1999 and late 2000 respectively as part of a training program for arts administrators in India.

 

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