The Crucible and Australian Aboriginal Art as an Expression of Cultural Leadership

Keywords: Crucible, Aboriginal art, cultural leadership, creativity, transformation, visual arts

Abstract

This essay explores the concept of the ‘crucible’ in the work of Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas and applies it to Australian Aboriginal art as an expression of cultural leadership. The exploration of creativity as transformational human activity is complementary to expressions of leadership in the arts relating to the crucible. In this essay, the work of a select group of Aboriginal artists is interpreted through the lens of the crucible. The format of this visual art essay privileges the interpretation of works of art as a primary source.

Author Biography

Donna Leslie, Griffith University
Donna Leslie is an Associate Professor and art historian at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Email: donna.leslie@griffith.edu.au

References

Aboriginal Education Unit. (1993). ‘Aboriginal Images: White Australia has a Black History’. Sydney, NSW.: New South Wales Department of School Education.

Akerman, K. (2000). ‘Rover Thomas’, Tribute, Artlink, March. https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/1390/rover-thomas/ (accessed 29 May 2019).

Arrington, D. Banowsky. (c. 2001). Home is where the art is: an art therapy approach to family therapy. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C Thomas.

Atkinson, J., J. Nelson, R. Brooks, C. Atkinson, and K. Ryan. (2014). ‘Chapter 17: Addressing Individual and Community Transgenerational Trauma’, in P. Dudgeon, H. Milroy, and R. Walker. (Eds.). Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice. Barton ACT.: Commonwealth of Australia, 289-303. https://www.telethonkids.org.au/globalassets/media/documents/aboriginal-health/working-together-second-edition/working-together-aboriginal-and-wellbeing-2014.pdf (accessed 30 May 2019).

Australian Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Australian Honours. https://honours.pmc.gov.au/honours/awards/873640 (accessed 30 May 2019).

Beier, U. (1985). Dream Time - Machine Time: The Art of Trevor Nickolls. Bathurst, NSW.: Robert Brown and associates, in association with the Aboriginal Artists Agency, Sydney.

Bennis, W. G. and R. J. Thomas. (2002). ‘Crucibles of Leadership’. Harvard Business Review (September), 60-68.

Bennis, W. G., and R. J. Thomas. (2007). Leading for a Lifetime: How defining moments shape the leaders of today and tomorrow. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.

Bennis, W. (2006). ‘Authentic Leaders’, Leadership Excellence, Aurora, Vol. 23, Iss. 8, (August), 3-4.

Bennis, W. (2009). ‘Crucible Generation’, Leadership Excellence; Aurora, Vol. 26, Iss. 5, (May), 8.

Bennis, W., and R. J. Thomas. (2006). ‘Crucibles: They make leaders’, Leadership Excellence, Aurora, Vol. 23, Iss. 7, (July), 15.

Case, C., and T. Dalley. (Eds.). (1990). Working with children in art therapy. London: Tavistock.

De Botton, A. (2013). Art as therapy. London: Phaidon Press Limited.

Drury, N. (1999). ‘The Spiritual Perspective of Aboriginal Painter Rover Thomas’. Nevill Drury (website): http://www.nevilldrury.com/nevill-drury-articles-rover-thomas.htm (accessed 22 May 2019).

Dudgeon, P., H. Milroy, and R. Walker. (Eds.) (2014). Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice. Barton ACT.: Commonwealth of Australia. https://www.telethonkids.org.au/globalassets/media/documents/aboriginal-health/working-together-second-edition/working-together-aboriginal-and-wellbeing-2014.pdf (accessed 30 May 2019).

Foley, G., with B. McGuinness. (2000). ‘Lin Onus: A personal/political memory’ in Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery. (2000). Urban Dingo: The Art and Life of Lin Onus, 1948-1996. (Ed.) Margo Neale. St. Leonards, NSW.: Craftsman House in association with G and B Arts International and the Queensland Art Gallery.

Gilchrist, S. National Gallery of Australia. (2010). https://cs.nga.gov.au/detail.cfm?irn=144778 (accessed 29 May 2019).

Grahm, M. L. (1969). ‘Aesthetics and Cultural Transformation’, The Journal of Education, Vol. 152, No. 2, Aesthetics in Education (December), 89-98.

Gussak, D. E., and M. L. Rosal. (Eds.) (2016). The Wiley Blackwell handbook of art therapy. Chichester, UK.; Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

Harding, D. (undated). Artist Profile: https://www.mca.com.au/artists-works/artists/dale-harding/ (accessed 29 May 2019).

Harding, D. (2014). (quoted by Lauren Barker). ‘Dale Harding, artist’. The Weekend Edition, 13 March. https://theweekendedition.com.au/the-locals/dale-harding/ (accessed 31 May 2019).

Hart, T. (2009). ‘Chapter 7: The Process and Paradox of Transformation’. Counterpoints, Vol. 162, from Information to Transformation: Education for the Evolution of Consciousness, revised edition, 157-177. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/42977401.

Healing Foundation. (2014). Muru Marri - A Resource for Collective Healing for Members of the Stolen Generations: Planning, implementing and evaluating effective local responses. Prepared for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation by Muru Marri – I. Blignault, L. Jackson Pulver, S. Fitzpatrick, R. Arkles, M. Williams, M. Haswell, and M. Grand Ortega. (Nov.). https://healingfoundation.org.au/app/uploads/2017/02/Muru-Marri-SCREEN-singles-sml.pdf (accessed 30 May 2019).

Hogan, S. (Ed.) (1997). Feminist approaches to art therapy. London; New York: Routledge.

Holmes à Court Gallery. (2003). Rover Thomas: I want to paint. (exh. cat.), East Perth, WA.: Heytesbury Pty Ltd, Holmes à Court Gallery.

Institute of Modern Art (website). (2015). ‘Dale Harding: White Collared’. https://ima.org.au/exhibitions/dale-harding-white-collared/ (accessed 29 May 2019).

Isaacs, J. (1992). Aboriginality: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings and Prints. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press. This book was first published in 1989.

Keyes, M. Frings. (c. 1983). Inward journey: art as therapy. La Salle, Ill.: Open Court.

King, M. (19 Sept. 2015). Institute of Modern Art, related podcast (with reference to ‘Dale Harding: White Collared’, 8 Aug. to 19 Sept. 2015. https://ima.org.au/exhibitions/dale-harding-white-collared/ (accessed 30 May 2019).

Landgarten, H. B. (c. 1981). Clinical art therapy: a comprehensive guide. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Leslie, D. (2008). Aboriginal Art: Creativity and Assimilation. South Yarra, Vic.: Macmillan Art Publishing.

Levine, E. G., and S. K. Levine. (Eds.) (2011). Art in action: expressive arts therapy and social change. London; Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. (electronic resource).

Matson-Green, V. maikutena. (2005). ‘Tarenorerer (1800-1831)’. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/tarenorerer-13212/text23923 (accessed 29 May 2019).

Mellou, E. (1994). ‘Creativity: The transformation condition’, Early Child Development and Care, 101:1, 81-88. doi: 10.1080/0300443941010108.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2019). ‘Crucible’. (definition). https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crucible#learn-more (accessed 20 May 2019).

Moon, B. L. (c. 2003). Essentials of art therapy education and practice. Springfield, Ill.: C.C. Thomas.

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. (2009). Commentary. https://artsearch.nga.gov.au/detail.cfm?irn=147688 (accessed 29 May 2019).

National Gallery of Australia. (2000). ‘World of Dreamings: Traditional and modern art of Australia’. (Rover Thomas). http://nga.gov.au/dreaming/Index.cfm?Refrnc=Ch5 (accessed 22 May 2019).

National Gallery of Victoria. (2003). ‘Rover Thomas: I Want To Paint’. https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/rover-thomas/ (accessed 29 May 2019).

National Portrait Gallery. (2018). ‘Julie Dowling’. https://www.portrait.gov.au/people/julie-dowling-1969 (accessed 29 May 2019).

National Portrait Gallery. (2015). ‘Richard Walley OAM honoured in new Portrait Gallery commission’. (2 Sept.) https://www.portrait.gov.au/content/richard-walley-oam-honoured (accessed 29 May 2019).

Onus, L. (1990). ‘Language and Lasers’, The Land, The City: The Emergence of Urban Aboriginal Art, Special Supplement, Art Monthly Australia, No. 3 (May), 14-19.

Onus, L. (c. 1982). ‘Musqito’, unpublished notes. Upwey.

Parry, N. (2005). ‘Musquito (1780-1825)’. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/musquito-13124/text23749. (accessed 29 May 2019).

Perkins, H., and B. L. Croft. (1994). ‘Truths, myths and little white lies’, in Sydney, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, True Colours: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists raise the flag. Sydney: Institute of New International Visual Arts and Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative.

Rubin, J. A. (Ed.) (c. 1987). Approaches to art therapy: theory and technique. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Schwebel, M. (1993). ‘Moral creativity as artistic transformation’, Creativity Research Journal, 6:1-2, 65-81. doi: 10.1080/10400419309534466.

Silverstone, L. (2009). Art therapy exercises: inspirational and practical ideas to stimulate the imagination. London; Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. (electronic resource).

Stanner, W. E. H. (1969). ‘The Great Australian Silence’, in The 1968 Boyer Lectures: After the Dreaming. Sydney: The Australian Broadcasting Commission, 18-29.

Stanner, W. E. H. (1979). White Man Got No Dreaming: Essays 1938-1973. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

The other pages (website). ‘Poems’. http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/mark01.html (accessed 22 May 2019).

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, (1804-1825). (references to Musquito). 23 December 1804, p. 3; 7 July 1805, p. 1; 12 January 1806, p. 1; 19 January 1806, p. 2; 16 March 1806, p. 2; 17 March 1825, p. 3; 22 April 1824, p. 2; 17 March 1825, p. 3; 28 April 1825, p. 2; 16 March 1806, p. 2.

Thomas, R. J. (2008). ‘Life’s Hard Lessons: Recognizing and discussing defining moments in both your professional life and personal life makes you a better leader’, HR Magazine, (June), 143-146.

Thomas, R. J., and W. Bennis. (2002). ‘Leadership crucibles’, Executive Excellence, Vol. 19, Iss. 11, (November), 3-4.

Thomas, R. J. (2008). Crucibles of Leadership: How to learn from experience to become a great leader. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.

Thompson, L. (compiler). (1990). Aboriginal Voices: Contemporary Aboriginal Artists, Writers and Performers. Brookvale: Simon and Schuster.

Published
2019-11-29