An Indigenous artist/business man from Redcliffe has been fined by police after questioning a fake Aboriginal art trader.
Michael Connolly who runs his very own Authentic Aboriginal store in the region has been putting pressure on fake Aboriginal art traders all across Australia. He was shocked to discover this week that a newsagent in Redcliffe had started selling fake Aboriginal boomerangs which were advertised as bent sticks that were also claimed to be painted by ‘real Aboriginals’.
The fine came after Michael’s second visit to the fake art seller. On the first occasion the fake art trader refused to answer any questions in regards to where the boomerangs came from and artist details etc. On the second occasion the fake art seller called police and claimed that Michael had sworn in public which resulted in a $126 fine for ‘Public Nuisance’. The police were reluctant to fine Mr Connolly but the Jetty News store owner insisted and organised two witness statements to be given to the police.
Michael isn’t too concerned about the fine because stomping out fake art will pay off for him and all the other Indigenous artists around Australia. He has even hinted that he might even claim the fine as a tax expense. Just today, Michael was pleased to discover that the newsagent has now removed the ‘bent sticks’ display. He would also like to see others take a stand against fake Aboriginal art traders and place pressure by asking questions about authenticity when you are suspicious of fake imported art in shops, markets and even airports all across Australia.
He has some advice about avoiding a fine too. Make sure you have a friend with you to act as a witness in case someone tries to get you fined for something you didn’t do, like swearing or pushing etc. If you’re not sure about the authenticity of Aboriginal art you could also take a picture and post it to one of the many active Aboriginal forums on Facebook.
We were thinking of doing a call out for people to help pay the fine but we thought why not encourage everyone to purchase some genuine Aboriginal products from Michael’s store. You don’t have to be in Brisbane either, you can purchase online at Dreamtime Kullilla art.