Australian Biography: Elizabeth Durack

Australian Biography: Elizabeth Durack
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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In 1997 the art world was shocked by the announcement from Western Australian artist Elizabeth Durack (1915–2000) that she and Aboriginal artist, Eddie Burrup, were one and the same person.

In this interview she addresses her use of what she calls an artistic 'device' or 'nom de plume'. The wider art world – and particularly other Aboriginal artists – saw it differently, especially after work by 'Burrup' had been entered into festivals and competitions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Members of the Aboriginal art community protested that in assuming her right to make Aboriginal art, Durack was committing more than an artistic hoax: she was appropriating Indigenous culture.

She was interviewed for Film Australia's Australian Biography series in 1997.

Read a transcript of the complete interview.