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Images of Australian Musicians: Diversity, Identity, Status, Class


Teniswood-Harvey, A, Images of Australian Musicians: Diversity, Identity, Status, Class, Through the looking glass, 6-9 December 2018, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, pp. 88. (2018) [Conference Extract]

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In this paper, the myth of Australia as a classless society is critically interrogated by examining the portrayal of musicians in Australia’s National Portrait Gallery. The collection (and its development) can be understood as a reflection of our national cultural identity, and its analysis raises issues of cultural hegemony and the cultural cringe, along with the impact of globalization. The institutional framing of musicians at a national level reveals the values that influence our culture and our artistic life. As it is through the visual that many ideas about music are communicated, the constitution of such a collection can mirror and reflect, but also distort and even block, the significance of individual achievement.

This paper considers the portraiture of classical musicians in relation to jazz, pop, experimental and indigenous musicians; issues such as gender, race and cultural identity are also considered. The specific research question is: what can we learn about the diversity, identity and status of musicians in Australia by studying their visual representation? Given the visual bias of contemporary society, the representation of music plays a powerful role in communicating ideas about music to the broader public. The larger question is: how can this study contribute to current discussions about class?

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:portraiture of musicians, Australian, music iconography, music in visual culture
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Music
Research Field:Musicology and ethnomusicology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Teniswood-Harvey, A (Dr Arabella Teniswood-Harvey)
ID Code:129747
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2018-12-17
Last Modified:2018-12-18

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