Aboriginal Art Centre Gets $200M, Will Focus On VR

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Aboriginal Art Centre Gets $200M, Will Focus On VR
November 12, 2020
Kaurna man Allan Sumner holds a smoking ceremony at Lot Fourteen to prepare it for the AACC.(Supplied: SA Government)

 

Adelaide's second Aboriginal cultural institute will be fully operational by 2025 after it was injected with an extra $50 million in the 2020-2021 South Australian State Budget.

 

Key points:

- New Aboriginal cultural institute receives additional funding ahead of 2021 construction

- Project leader working with existing Tandanya institute to complement ongoing activities

- More than 30,000 items to be relocated from the SA Museum

 

 

To be located at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site (Lot Fourteen), Premier Steven Marshall wants it to be Adelaide's version of Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), a privately funded museum that has become a key tourism destination.

 

Project leader Diane Dixon said the extra cash, which brings the build to $200 million, reflected "aspirations" to make the new Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre (AACC) an international cultural and tourism destination.

 

"We're not looking for static art collections, or your traditional museum approach," she told ABC Radio Adelaide.

 

"We're really trying to create contemporary spaces."

 

This included utilising virtual reality, digital technologies and performance facilities to create "immersive interactive story-telling".

 

"It will be really significant pieces that tell a story in a compelling way."

MONA opened in January 2011 and quickly became a popular drawcard for Hobart.(Supplied: Mona/Jesse Hunniford)

 

In a bid to create "something that's quite globally unique", Ms Dixon said she had spent the past 12 months working with Aboriginal communities and cultural institutions.

 

This included the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, which has been located in Adelaide's CBD for 30 years.

 

"It's not a replacement," Ms Dixon said.

 

"It's a complementary value-add, so we're working with them very closely at the moment around how we can support and maintain their activities, and how they can gain leverage both ways."

 

Tandanya has been contacted for comment.

 

Comprehensive collection

AACC ambassador David Rathman said the new centre would showcase the SA Museum's collection of more than 30,000 items from around Australia, making it the most "comprehensive collection of Australian Aboriginal cultural material in the world".

 

He said it would also feature artefacts and works of art in other forms sourced nationally and from within SA, including from Tandanya and the Art Gallery of SA.

The Government originally planned to combine an Indigenous centre with a contemporary art gallery.(Supplied: Diller Scofidio + Renfro And Woods Bagot/Malcolm Reading Consultants)

 

The former Labor state government wanted to build a new contemporary art and underground concert hall at the site, where demolition of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital is still underway.

 

Its favoured design was reportedly a two-level art gallery in the shape of an elevated, stylised white box — at an estimated cost of $250 million.

 

The newly elected Liberal Government in late 2018 released a series of concept designs, which was originally to combine an Indigenous cultural institute with a contemporary art gallery.

The Kumakarro Dance Group participate in the Lot Fourteen smoking ceremony in late 2019.(Supplied: SA Government)

 

A $200-million budget

The Federal Government has previously pledged $85 million for the AACC, and the State Government $65 million — prior to its latest allocation of $50 million.

 

Ms Dixon said a business case was nearly complete and architects would finish preliminary concept designs for the AACC next week.

 

She hoped an artist's impression of how the completed building will look would be released by the end of the year.

 

"That will then lead into the full concept designs stages, which will start from early next year," Ms Dixon said.

 

Construction is expected to begin in 2021 and finish in 2024.

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