Cultural Production Line

When Philip Batty first came to Papunya, he was met with an almost utopian vision. It was 1977, and Batty had come to work as an art teacher at the government settlement in Central Australia; to his joy, artists had taken over the town, some even gathering in his front yard to paint. "There were few places in Papunya that had front lawns and I inherited the policeman's house," recalls Batty, now senior curator for Central Australian Collections at Museum Victoria. "And people like Clifford Possum and Johnny Warangkula used to come around and paint." He was met with an altogether...

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