This is a long and overdue update.
Last November we agreed and moved from the shed on the Eveleigh Railroad into rented premises of Kennards Storage at Waterloo. The state government paid in advance for this storage until May 23,2011.
We thank the Woolloomooloo Arts Centre, Head Solicitor, Delwyn Everard and Freehills Solicitors, Frances Drummond for mediating and advising us.
As May 23 approaches, when our artworks will become homeless, we are searching frantically for an alternative. The collection needs security. The stress of losing it to an auction to pay for the storage bill is now imminent. We are not in position to save the collection alone anymore.
We are not confident that the Liberal Party will pick up the pieces. We have contacted Malcolm Turnbull however we have not heard back from him.
Rev. John Queripel has allowed us to put up into his Uniting church at Bondi Beach, (Chapel By The Sea, 95 Roscoe St., Bondi Beach), a display of 40 to 50 important paintings to show samples of work from various Aboriginal artists in our collection. This church is in Malcolm Turnbull's electorate.
Eric Nair, World Aids Day, is mounting a national campaign "Save the Keeping Place collection of Aboriginal Art".
OUR WISH LIST
Step 1.Security for the collection- sell or lease artworks.
Step 2. Re-open in a safe building to the public THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINALS.
Step 3. Aboriginal people running the museum in a sustainable way to attract tourists and education groups and educate the general public in order to "keep the culture" and to "lessen racism" in Australia.
OUR WISHES ARE SUPPORTED BY THE FOLLOWING QUOTES:
According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
(Australia is now a member)
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their
cultural heritage... They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop
their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.
2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior consent or in violation of their laws, traditions, and customs.
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.
(See attachment for the well-used book, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.)
Remember, what makes this collection significant is that, unlike Australia's other large holdings of Aboriginal art, it is collected and owned by an Aboriginal person.
As the new parliament resumes on Monday, we hope you might be willing to participate in any media exposure that can be arranged by Eric Nair in the coming week. We are working hard with Eric each day now as the May 23rd deadline approaches.
KEEP CULTURE. KEEP HISTORY. KEEP LESSENING THE GAP.
Gordon and Elaine Syron
Custodians of The Keeping Place
"Searching for a home... a home worth searching for."