Disciplining the artist
Preconceived notions about what it means to be a First Nations artist are embedded within the curriculum at Technical and Further Education from its inception. The emphasis on country and family as expressed in this unit is unique though and a part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) art course’s philosophy of restoring and maintaining a particular form of cultural link. ‘Cultural content’ is a phrase used in the studio to describe those aspects of the curriculum which focus on First Nations lifeways such as language, family history, clan identification, totems, myths and legends and ceremonial processes. The curriculum used inside the ATSI studio has many aspects which create stress and undermines students’ beliefs about themselves. The mainstream studio used a biased colour wheel while the new instructor to the ATSI studio used a colour wheel based on Bauhaus teachings.