AUTHENTICITY

Neil McLeod has worked with Aboriginal people for over thirty years as a photographer and researcher, his primary interest being to record in accurate detail aspects of ceremony, ways of life, belief, art and culture. His substantial body of work is represented by numerous publications (link), as well as a large library of photographs, videos, films, detailed field notes, detailed diary records, and a notable collection of art and artefacts.

Within the Aboriginal art world the issue of fakes and forgeries has come to the fore as a cause for concern. The authenticity of some paintings sourced from Neil McLeod has been called into question. The most notable of these occcurred in 1992 (link) where extensive accusations levelled by the media were examined by experts and found to be totally without foundation. Questions raised concerning work collected from Rover Thomas in 1994-5 have also been answered in recently published Field Notes (link).

More recently, independent experts have once again verified individual works as genuine.

Neil McLeod stands by the authenticity of his entire collection.

Neil McLeod Fine Arts Studio is happy to supply further details, to answer questions, and to supply references to his many published books.

Recently published Field Notes and DVDs are available for purchase.

Over a period of 34 years (1976-2009) Neil McLeod has kept diary records continuously. From the early years, five of these early diaries are missing, probably destroyed in a house fire at 6 Rocksleigh Avenue, Tecoma, Victoria, in 2004.

Of these five missing diaries, two (1982, 1984) are recorded in part in brief notes previously taken direct from the diaries (with dates) as notes accompanying exhibitions and promotions for Neil McLeod Fine Arts Studio.

One diary (1981) is recorded in annotated discursive format,  and two (1978 and 1980) seem to be unrecorded in any secondary manner.

There are therefore, from 1976 to 2009, 29 fully complete diaries, three partial diary records, and two unavailable.

Research, Recording of Cultural Stories, Practices and History, Collection of Art and Artefacts, Publications

Analysis of entries provides a rich source of detailed information. In brief, there are :

There is a vast Library of photographs, videos, DVDs and slides recording all of these artists at work, in addition to published books, copious field notes, statements, and letters from numerous sources regarding all of his work.

A copious Bibliography of published books supplements the Diaries

Neil McLeod has been recognised as a significant collector with well provenanced material supporting his collection. Aspects of his collections from the Kimberley, Arnhem Land and Papua New Guinea have been sold or donated to the Museum of South Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, the Australian National Museum, Canberra, the Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Canberra, Information Australia, Canberra, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Queensland Art Gallery and the National Museum, Port Moresby, PNG.

In 1978 Neil McLeod was the recipient of the International World Wildlife Magazine's Award  "Photographer of the Year".

In 1997 he received the USA International Oceanic Society Inc "First International Award" for his photographic documentation of traditional ceremonies in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, for "Preservation of Culture and Lifestyle of People of the Tabar Islands".