Fabri Blacklock

Privileging Aboriginal Methodologies in Artistic Research

Aboriginal Research Methodologies (ARM) have long been deemed by the Eurocentric academy to be inferior and unvalidated forms of research data collection methods. Aboriginal ways of being, knowing, and doing are the essence of cultural maintenance and survival. Artistic practice exemplifies connection to culture through Aboriginal ontologies and epistemologies. As decades of advocacy by Aboriginal artists, activists and anthropologists have made clear, Aboriginal art is essential to the survival of culture as it allows for the maintenance and longevity of knowledge between past, present, and future generations. 

I will discuss the research design and development of the Biyani: Women Healing Women through deep listening, yarning and artistic practice research project, which utilises ARM by privileging Aboriginal women’s voices through participatory co-design, and knowledge exchange. Collecting a rich, diverse data set of qualitative and visual knowledge through three ARM data collection methods: ‘deep listening’, ‘yarning’ and ‘artistic practice’, this strength-based community driven research enables Aboriginal women to ‘thrive’ as leaders in our community, whilst strengthening culture and community. The project furthermore envisions ways that policy, program, and service design can be culturally reflexive and requisite to empowering Aboriginal women.

Fabri Blacklock

Dr Fabri Blacklock is a Nucoorilma/Ngarabal and Biripi woman from New South Wales, Australia, she also has English and Scottish ancestry. She is an Associate Professor and Scientia Research Fellow at the University of NSW, Art and Design School in Sydney, as an artist, historian, curator and educator she is passionate about improving equity in education for Aboriginal people and is committed to embedding Aboriginal Research Methodologies, pedagogies and perspectives into mainstream education. Her research utilises Aboriginal Research Methodologies: ‘yarning’, ‘artistic practice’, and ‘deep listening’, working in partnership with Aboriginal people to create tangible benefits for Aboriginal communities.