Art and identity
The production of deadly (and gammon) works inside the TAFE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts studio is at the heart of the production of Australian First Nations identity. At the heart of art production is how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student artists internalize local, national and historical constructions of First Nations art, Indigeneity and culture. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student artists use the word ‘culture’ as a form of personal identity. Culture as used in the studio includes language, artefacts, design elements and stories to which they could lay hereditary ownership. The art produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students going through the TAFE studio was found to be determined and framed by four factors: the history of the First Nations arts industry in Queensland; the curriculum within the studio; experiences with the markets and galleries; and students’ personal histories.