Things continue to be busy, but generally rewarding, for rock art in the West! September saw most of the Centre's researchers and many students participating in numerous conferences across Europe (e.g. IFRAO in Cáceres, Spain; ACRA III conference in Alta, Norway; CHAGS in Vienna; and EAA in Glasgow). Australian rock art certainly got a great airing and papers and posters were presented on a variety of research projects (see below).
Our ARC Centre for Excellence Expression of Interest with an extraordinary team of collaborating Australian and international partners was unfortunately not successful. We are very disappointed that the "brilliant team” and “bold and innovative research project" (as identified by the ARC reviewer) did not reach threshold for the next stage of review - but are pleased for archaeology generally that the University of Wollongong team (led by Bert Roberts) has been invited to submit a full proposal. We are also delighted for the Griffith/ANU team lead by Paul Taçon which was successful in the latest ARC DP round! The combined success of CRAR+M (and partners) with Murujuga: Dynamics of the Dreaming, the Kimberley Visions and the Wellington Ranges projectmeans that rock art research is well resourced in these three regions for the next 3-5 years.
The Kimberley Dating Project (run out of University of Melbourne) is also on the cusp of some breakthroughs in Kimberley rock art dating. Exciting times ahead!
Organisation for the Australian Archaeology Association conference (Fremantle 2-4 December, with workshops on the 1st December) is heating up. All of CRAR+M is participating - running sessions or workshops, presenting papers or leading post-conference tours; you might even find yourself with one of our new scales! We are looking forward to welcoming colleagues from around the country and our international plenary speakers – Mary Stiner, Mike Petraglia and Steve Kuhn - to this annual highlight in Australia’s archaeological calendar.
Rock art will also be in the public domain this weekend. I am giving a TEDxPerth talk on Saturday at the Perth Concert Hall - talking about how art is part of our human heritage and how we need to better protect Australia's great rock art estate. Will keep you updated on how that goes!!