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ISE1003 Contexts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Representation

Semester 2, 2021 Toowoomba On-campus
Short Description: Cntxt of ATSI Art&Rpresntation
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Coll for Indigenous Studies, Education & Research
School or Department : Coll for Indigenous Studies, Education & Research
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090311 - Indigenous Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Sue Tuitupou

Other Requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the global level is aesthetically appreciated but little is known about the political, spiritual and social construction behind its production. This course delivers a dialogue and context for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and representation. The course offers an opportunity for Australian Indigenous art perspectives to be taught from an Indigenous standpoint.


This course will offer students a method by which they can become conversant with an historical and contemporary overview of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Students are guided into the story as visual language in discussing Human Rights, activism for land rights, connection to Country, social dialogues, and cultural and community issues. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Copyright are clarified through Law and spiritual belief. Further to this, students will gain an understanding of ethical behaviour regarding Aboriginal material culture and knowledge. Students from the creative industries, community development and education will benefit from this course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. be sensitive in discerning the meaning of attachment to land and traditional law and ways of being.
  2. be aware of the history of Australian art that is inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art story.
  3. critically examine Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Copyright and the dialogues, which frame this issue in terms of traditional knowledge, law and economic sustainability.
  4. identify and analyse historical and contemporary issues within the dynamic of cultural expression in the creative industries and community values.
  5. evaluate and establish cultural practice, capacity building and community development.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Tradition and Law 20.00
2. Belonging and Expression 20.00
3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists of the nineteenth century. 20.00
4. Gathering Voices. 20.00
5. Contemporary perspectives: Ancient realities and storylines today. 20.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Susan and Emily McCulloch 2008, McCulloch's Contemporary Aboriginal Art: the complete guide, Australian Art Books, Fitzroy.
Wally Caruana 2012, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Croft, B 2009, Cultural warriors: Australian indigenous art triennial, National Gallery of Australia, ACT.
McCulloch, S 2001, Contemporary Australian art: a guide to the rebirth of an ancient culture, revised edn, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest.
Mundine, D 1999, 'The land is full of signs', in Morphy, H & Boles, M (eds), Art from the land, University of Virginia, Virginia.
Perkins, H & Pinchbeck, C 2014, Traditional today: indigenous art in Australia from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
Sayers, A 1994, Aboriginal artists of the nineteenth century, Oxford University Press in association with the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
De Heer, R. 2006, Ten Canoes, Fandango/Vertigo, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival, SBS Independent, Madman Entertainment and Palace Films, The AV Channel.
National Gallery of Victoria 2002, Indigenous Australian art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Queensland Art Gallery, The Torres Strait Islands, Queensland Art Gallery:
Wally Caruana 2012, Aboriginal Art.
United Nations General Assembly 2008, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations Publication, New York, United Nations. (Adopted 13 September 2007).

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 105.00
Private Study 60.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 24 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 30 27 Sep 2021
ASSIGNMENT 3 40 40 18 Oct 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

  2. In completing the course content and assignments the student will have graduate attributes and Skills in all the key areas at Level 1.

Other Requirements

  1. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  3. Attendance at field trips and exhibitions where practical.

Date printed 8 November 2021