REVIEW OF THE 2017 NATIONAL ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ART AWARDS

Australia's most eminent Indigenous art awards, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), were without reserve, breathtaking.

Artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands swept the field being awarded four of the six categories with their stunning and tremendously moving works.

Interestingly, both delicate and extremely intricate black and white works in various media appeared to dominate in this year's selection of 66 finalists from over 300 entries. Congratulations to all the finalists, such exceptional work.

Here are some images of the award winning works and our personal favorites with a special mention to Robert Fielding , winner of the 'Works on Paper' award with 'Milkali Kutju - One Blood' who moved us so profoundly with his work, his message and grace.

Currently on exhibit at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin through to the 26th of November 2017.

 

 TELSTRA AWARD WINNER:   Kulata Tjuta - Wati kulunypa tjukurpa  (Many Spears - Young fella story) by Anwar Young, Unrupa Rhonda Dick and Frank Young  - Pitantjatjara, Amata, South Australia. Medium : 37 spears, digital print, wood, kangaroo tendon, kiti (natural glue)   Tjanangka ngaranyi ngura, jailangka wiya -  Standing behind culture not behind bars - Wati kulunypa tjuta patingka tjarpanyi jailangka. A strong statement literally and visually for cultural and community support for troubled young men in remote communities as opposed to ineffective incarceration in Juvenile Detention Centres.

TELSTRA AWARD WINNER:  Kulata Tjuta - Wati kulunypa tjukurpa (Many Spears - Young fella story) by Anwar Young, Unrupa Rhonda Dick and Frank Young  - Pitantjatjara, Amata, South Australia. Medium : 37 spears, digital print, wood, kangaroo tendon, kiti (natural glue)

Tjanangka ngaranyi ngura, jailangka wiya - Standing behind culture not behind bars - Wati kulunypa tjuta patingka tjarpanyi jailangka. A strong statement literally and visually for cultural and community support for troubled young men in remote communities as opposed to ineffective incarceration in Juvenile Detention Centres.

 GENERAL PAINTING AWARD WINNER:   Ngura Pilti  by Matjangla (Nyukana) Norris  - Pitjantjatjara, Fregon, South Australia.  Synthetic polymer paint on linen.                                            'Ngura Pilti'  - the Country is very dry.

GENERAL PAINTING AWARD WINNER:  Ngura Pilti by Matjangla (Nyukana) Norris  - Pitjantjatjara, Fregon, South Australia.  Synthetic polymer paint on linen.                                           'Ngura Pilti' - the Country is very dry.

 WORKS ON PAPER AWARD WINNER :  Milkali Kutju - One Blood  by Robert Fielding - Western Arrente/Yankunytjatjara, Port Augusta, South Australia. Synthetic polymer paint and ink on burnt and pierced paper.  "My work  Milkali Kutju  - meaning on blood in Pitjantjatjara language - is a call for unity, for an end to racial prejudice. I'm asking viewers to look beneath the surface and see that our differences are only skin deep. We all have blood running through our veins."

WORKS ON PAPER AWARD WINNER : Milkali Kutju - One Blood by Robert Fielding - Western Arrente/Yankunytjatjara, Port Augusta, South Australia. Synthetic polymer paint and ink on burnt and pierced paper.  "My work Milkali Kutju - meaning on blood in Pitjantjatjara language - is a call for unity, for an end to racial prejudice. I'm asking viewers to look beneath the surface and see that our differences are only skin deep. We all have blood running through our veins."

 BARK PAINTING AWARD WINNER :  Lines   by Nyapanyapa Yunupingu - Yolngu, Birritjmi, Northern Territory. Earth pigment on Stringybark. This work is representative of ceremonial body and face markings. 

BARK PAINTING AWARD WINNER : Lines  by Nyapanyapa Yunupingu - Yolngu, Birritjmi, Northern Territory. Earth pigment on Stringybark. This work is representative of ceremonial body and face markings. 

 WANDJUK MARIKA MEMORIAL THREE DIMENSIONAL AWARD WINNER :  Nyurruga Muulawaddi  by Shirley MacNamara - Indjalandji-Dhidhanu/Alyawarre, Mt Guide Station, Queensland. Aged woven spinifex.

WANDJUK MARIKA MEMORIAL THREE DIMENSIONAL AWARD WINNER : Nyurruga Muulawaddi by Shirley MacNamara - Indjalandji-Dhidhanu/Alyawarre, Mt Guide Station, Queensland. Aged woven spinifex.

 EMERGING ARTIST AWARD WINNER :  Ngangkari Ngura  (Healing Country) by Betty Muffler - Pitjantjatjara, Indulkana, South Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen. Betty Muffler is a survivor of the nuclear bomb testing conducted by the British on her country at Maralinga in the 1950's. Not all of her family did survive. This work depicts the good and healing parts of her country

EMERGING ARTIST AWARD WINNER : Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country) by Betty Muffler - Pitjantjatjara, Indulkana, South Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen. Betty Muffler is a survivor of the nuclear bomb testing conducted by the British on her country at Maralinga in the 1950's. Not all of her family did survive. This work depicts the good and healing parts of her country

  Tjala Tjukurpa  - Honey ant story by Yaritji Young - Pitjantjatjara, Amata, South Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

Tjala Tjukurpa - Honey ant story by Yaritji Young - Pitjantjatjara, Amata, South Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

 Cultural Reflections - Ever present #1 by Kent Morris - Barkindji, Melbourne, Victoria. Digital print on rag paper

Cultural Reflections - Ever present #1 by Kent Morris - Barkindji, Melbourne, Victoria. Digital print on rag paper

  Tjulpu Wiltja Tjuta  (Birds nests) by Iluwanti Kean and Mary Katajuku Pan - Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara, Amata, South Australia. Natural tjupi grass, raffia, wool, hair, feathers, wire and audio.

Tjulpu Wiltja Tjuta (Birds nests) by Iluwanti Kean and Mary Katajuku Pan - Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara, Amata, South Australia. Natural tjupi grass, raffia, wool, hair, feathers, wire and audio.

  Ancestral women at Marrapinti  by Yukultji Napangarti - Pintupi, Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

Ancestral women at Marrapinti by Yukultji Napangarti - Pintupi, Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

  These birds  by Marlene Rubuntja - Arrente, Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Metal, dyed woollen blankets, wool, cotton, emu feathers.

These birds by Marlene Rubuntja - Arrente, Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Metal, dyed woollen blankets, wool, cotton, emu feathers.

 Byku by Gunybi Ganambarr - Yonlgu, Ganggan, Northern Territory. Earth pigments on Stringybark hollow log.

Byku by Gunybi Ganambarr - Yonlgu, Ganggan, Northern Territory. Earth pigments on Stringybark hollow log.

  Jitirr  by Ngarralja Tommy May - Walmajarri, Mindi Rardi, Western Australia. Acrylic pen and enamel paint on metal.

Jitirr by Ngarralja Tommy May - Walmajarri, Mindi Rardi, Western Australia. Acrylic pen and enamel paint on metal.

  Ancestral women at Marrapinti  by Yalti Napangati - Pintupi, Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

Ancestral women at Marrapinti by Yalti Napangati - Pintupi, Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

  Matriline - Yinarr - Old girls of the south east  by Penny Evans - Gamilaraay, Lismore, New South Wales. Ceramis, raffia, wire, polypropylene, plastic, bamboo.

Matriline - Yinarr - Old girls of the south east by Penny Evans - Gamilaraay, Lismore, New South Wales. Ceramis, raffia, wire, polypropylene, plastic, bamboo.

  Tiwi Jamutakari, Kumunupunpari, Tiyari  by Timothy Cook, Tiwi, Milkapiti, Northern Territory. Natural ochres on linen

Tiwi Jamutakari, Kumunupunpari, Tiyari by Timothy Cook, Tiwi, Milkapiti, Northern Territory. Natural ochres on linen

  Namorrodo - Shooting star  by Bob Burruwal - Rembarrnga, Ankabadbirri, Norther Territory. Pandanus with ochre pigment, paperbark, feathers and fixative.

Namorrodo - Shooting star by Bob Burruwal - Rembarrnga, Ankabadbirri, Norther Territory. Pandanus with ochre pigment, paperbark, feathers and fixative.

  Tingari men at Yunala  by Ray James Tjangala - Pintupi, Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

Tingari men at Yunala by Ray James Tjangala - Pintupi, Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

  Yarrinya  by Barayuwa Mununggurr, Yolngu, Yirrkala, Northern Territory. Earth pigments on Stringybark

Yarrinya by Barayuwa Mununggurr, Yolngu, Yirrkala, Northern Territory. Earth pigments on Stringybark

 Pregnant yawkyawk by Anniebell Marrrngnamarrnga - Kunwinjku, Maningrida, Northern Territory. Pandanus with natural pigments.

Pregnant yawkyawk by Anniebell Marrrngnamarrnga - Kunwinjku, Maningrida, Northern Territory. Pandanus with natural pigments.

LIMITED EDITION RUGS from Better World Arts

We have a small collection of exquisite limited edition from Better World Arts available from our 'Gallery' Page. These hand dyed, chain stitched wool rugs are finished with a heavy cotton backing some with a sleeve to hang if so desired . These rugs are born of a cross cultural collaboration between Aboriginal artists providing original works and that are then reproduced in limited editions of 50 or 100 by traditional Kashmiri weavers.  Each is certified, numbered and the purchase of these rugs directly benefit the artists and and their communities, control and ownership of intellectual property are also maintained through Better World Arts.

We love these rugs, the brillant collaboration between artists and as you can see, can be a quite stunning edition to any interior.  See our Gallery Page at www.artinterface.net for availability.

 Rug and cushion cover design by Iwana Ken

Rug and cushion cover design by Iwana Ken

 Cushion covers designed by Tali Tali Pompey

Cushion covers designed by Tali Tali Pompey

 Limited Edition "Mina Mina" by Judy Watson Napangardi 

Limited Edition "Mina Mina" by Judy Watson Napangardi 

 Limited Edition design by Kathy Maringka

Limited Edition design by Kathy Maringka

DARWIN ABORIGINAL ART FAIR AND FASHION SHOW 2017

I have been attending Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair periodically since it's inception some 11 years ago and it just keeps getting bigger and better ! A not to be missed event on Darwin's jam packed social and events' calendar early August each year, the Art Fair showcases work from around 50 Art Centres. The diversity of work, be it painterly, sculptural, textiles or fashion is ever increasing and of amongst the most spectacular. So much to see and do in fabulous Darwin over August, but do not miss the Art Fair and Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award finalists and winning art works showing at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

 The Warringarri dancers from the Kimberley opened the Fair in style and cuteness

The Warringarri dancers from the Kimberley opened the Fair in style and cuteness

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 Milimginbi Art and Culture, home to master weavers. In the foreground is Margaret Rarru's spectacular Gunga Bathi Madonna (double breasted) basket which was also a highlight of the Fashion Show and now in our Collection. Margaret's work is held in several galleries, museums and notably has a significant collection within the National Gallery of Victoria. Margaret's sister, pictured here is also an extremely talented weaver.

Milimginbi Art and Culture, home to master weavers. In the foreground is Margaret Rarru's spectacular Gunga Bathi Madonna (double breasted) basket which was also a highlight of the Fashion Show and now in our Collection. Margaret's work is held in several galleries, museums and notably has a significant collection within the National Gallery of Victoria. Margaret's sister, pictured here is also an extremely talented weaver.

CAIRNS INDIGENOUS ART FAIR 2017

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, which showcases work from artists throughout the Cape York, Torres Strait Islanders Peoples and some 13 art centres annually in July, just keeps getting bigger and better with progressive exposure and sales to the artists and performers.

Stunning satellite exhibitions in Cairns were not to be missed and a brilliant theatre performance 'My Name is Jimi' a vibrant, touching, humorous and deeply insightful account of Torres Strait Islander culture - is not to be missed if it comes your way.

 

 Extremely honoured to meet Gail Mabo, winner of the CIAF Innovation Award. Gail's work is in honour of her father, the great Eddie Koiki Mabo, advocate for our First Nation People's land rights. This winning piece is in fact a map of the star within the constellation of the Southern Cross designated to Mr Mabo.  Constructed from bamboo, which Gail remembers her father working with and shells collected in Tasmania, reuniting People from the north and south. Congratulations Gail Mabo.

Extremely honoured to meet Gail Mabo, winner of the CIAF Innovation Award. Gail's work is in honour of her father, the great Eddie Koiki Mabo, advocate for our First Nation People's land rights. This winning piece is in fact a map of the star within the constellation of the Southern Cross designated to Mr Mabo.  Constructed from bamboo, which Gail remembers her father working with and shells collected in Tasmania, reuniting People from the north and south. Congratulations Gail Mabo.

 Garry Namponan from Wik and Kugu Art Centre was awarded the Premier's Award for excellence. The Aurukun art centre in the north west of Cape York Peninsula has and continues to produce these beautiful dog and animal sculptures.

Garry Namponan from Wik and Kugu Art Centre was awarded the Premier's Award for excellence. The Aurukun art centre in the north west of Cape York Peninsula has and continues to produce these beautiful dog and animal sculptures.

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 Our absolute 'coup de coeur' (favorite) work was the 'ghost net' work from Erub Artrs, Torres Strait. Hauntingly beautiful work produced from recuperated ocean waste and shells paradoxically create a strong visual impression of wondrous reef life. 

Our absolute 'coup de coeur' (favorite) work was the 'ghost net' work from Erub Artrs, Torres Strait. Hauntingly beautiful work produced from recuperated ocean waste and shells paradoxically create a strong visual impression of wondrous reef life. 

 DistinctiveTorres Strait Islander headdress, woven, shaped feathers, carved shell, worn during traditional dance performances. 

DistinctiveTorres Strait Islander headdress, woven, shaped feathers, carved shell, worn during traditional dance performances. 

 Silk, hand held women's dance objects from Warraber Island, Queensland, commissioned by and going in to the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Silk, hand held women's dance objects from Warraber Island, Queensland, commissioned by and going in to the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

GALERIE DAD, FRANCE

Selected images of exhibitions that were carefully curated by Alison Haysey at the Galerie DAD, France.

Works were sourced by Alison over several journeys to community Art Centres such as Papunya Tula Artists, Maningrida Arts and Culture, Warlukurlangu Artists Yuendumu, Warlayirti Artists in the Northern Territory Balgo Hills in Western Australia, amongst others.

 

 Inaugural exhibition at Galerie DAD

Inaugural exhibition at Galerie DAD

 'Utopia'

'Utopia'

 'Les Couleurs du Desert'

'Les Couleurs du Desert'

 'Peintres Pintupi'

'Peintres Pintupi'

 'Ocre'

'Ocre'

 'Ocre'

'Ocre'

 'Ocre'

'Ocre'

 'Better World Arts'

'Better World Arts'

Source: www.artinterface.net

SACRED BANUMBIRR CEREMONY // ELCHO ISLAND

On expedition to Elcho Island, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, we were extremely fortunate to witness GALI YALKARRIWUY GURRUWIWI performing the Morning-Star Pole Ceremony.
Gali is a traditional Aboriginal (Yolngu) Mala Leader and Galpu clan representative.
Gali was taught traditional art forms, the stories and laws from his father (Gapuka) before he passed away, and was given the laws and responsibilities of being custodian of the sacred feathered ceremonial Banumbirr (morning-star pole) for the Galpu Clan.
The Banumbirr is a ceremonial emblem and an essential part of ritual. It is most commonly used in mortuary ceremonies and is held by men whilst dancing. The individual poles can differ, depending on the ceremony, the artist's clan, and their stories. The poles are statements about identity and can represent specific stretches of country and the people it belongs to. They are also a part of spiritual/religious statements that binds the people in life and death.                       // A truly exceptional experience //

  Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi

Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi

2016 NATIONAL ABORIGINAL and TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ART AWARDS

We were privileged to attend this year's presentation of the most prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards aka NATSIAA held at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin. 

The finalists in all categories were exceptional, I was especially taken by the outstanding standard of work in the 3D Category, Nicole Monk's mesmerising performance We Are All Animals winning overall.   So very pleased to see John Mawurndjul painting again and Youth Award laureate Ishmael Marika's video Sunlight Energy II is quite simply sublime.

Here are some images of the awards, finalists and some of the works we particularly love including People's Choice Award winner (our choice too) Penny Evans' "Trophy Wife".

Congratulations to all of 2016's award winners:

WINNER 33rd TELSTRA NATIONAL ABORIGINAL and TORRES STRAIT ART AWARD                       HAROLD JOSEPH THOMAS (BUNDOO) for Tribal Abuduction

BARK PAINTING AWARD - John Mawurndjul for Dilebang

GENERAL PAINTING AWARD - Betty Kuntiwa Pumani for Antara

WANDJUK MARIKA MEMORIAL 3D AWARD - Nicole Monks for We Are All Animals 

WORK ON PAPER - Robert Pau for Battle of Bikar

YOUTH AWARD - Ishmael Marika for Sunlight Energy II

 

 WINNER of the 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Award

WINNER of the 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Award

 WINNER of the General Painting Award

WINNER of the General Painting Award

 WINNER of the Bark Painting Award

WINNER of the Bark Painting Award

 WINNER of the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award - Nicole Monks 'We Are All Animals' (Perfomance) 

WINNER of the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award - Nicole Monks 'We Are All Animals' (Perfomance) 

 Work on Paper finalist - Maath Maralngurra 'Ngalyod' (The Rainbow Serpent) Media : Natural earth pigments and watercolour on paper 

Work on Paper finalist - Maath Maralngurra 'Ngalyod' (The Rainbow Serpent) Media : Natural earth pigments and watercolour on paper 

 General Painting finalists - Spinifex Men's Collaborative 'Pukara' Media : Synthetic polymer paint on linen

General Painting finalists - Spinifex Men's Collaborative 'Pukara' Media : Synthetic polymer paint on linen

 Bark Painting finalist - Seymour Wulida 'Buluwana at Dilebang' Media : Earth pigments on bark and General Painting Award Winner - Betty Kuntiwa Pumani 'Antara' Media : Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

Bark Painting finalist - Seymour Wulida 'Buluwana at Dilebang' Media : Earth pigments on bark and General Painting Award Winner - Betty Kuntiwa Pumani 'Antara' Media : Synthetic polymer paint on linen.

 Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalists - Tjanpi Desert Weavers 'Minyma Tjirilyana Ngaltutjara Pikatjara' (Porcupine Woman Hurt and Sick) Media : Grass, raffia, feathers, metal, acrylic, wool

Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalists - Tjanpi Desert Weavers 'Minyma Tjirilyana Ngaltutjara Pikatjara' (Porcupine Woman Hurt and Sick) Media : Grass, raffia, feathers, metal, acrylic, wool

 Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalist - Gunybi Ganambarr 'Milngurr' Media : Metal

Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalist - Gunybi Ganambarr 'Milngurr' Media : Metal

 Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalist - Shirley Manamara 'Ungabutha Guutu' (Porpupine Vessel) Media : Spinifex, porcupine quills, fixative

Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalist - Shirley Manamara 'Ungabutha Guutu' (Porpupine Vessel) Media : Spinifex, porcupine quills, fixative

 Wandjul Marika Memorial 3D finalists : Foreground - Wukun Wanambi 'Three Rocks' - Media : Natural earth pigments on wood. Far left - Janine Mcaullay Bott 'Boundaries, Respect, Consequences' - Media : Palm fronds, gumnuts, wood, synthetic polymer paint. Far right - Andrew Snelgar 'Pulakarr Kaa-Kaa' (Two Brothers) - Media : Natural earth pigments on carved wood

Wandjul Marika Memorial 3D finalists : Foreground - Wukun Wanambi 'Three Rocks' - Media : Natural earth pigments on wood. Far left - Janine Mcaullay Bott 'Boundaries, Respect, Consequences' - Media : Palm fronds, gumnuts, wood, synthetic polymer paint. Far right - Andrew Snelgar 'Pulakarr Kaa-Kaa' (Two Brothers) - Media : Natural earth pigments on carved wood

 WINNER People's Choice Award and Mandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalist- Penny Evans 'Trophy Wife' Media : Earthernware ceramic, echidna quills

WINNER People's Choice Award and Mandjuk Marika Memorial 3D finalist- Penny Evans 'Trophy Wife' Media : Earthernware ceramic, echidna quills

ART OF THE PINTUPI

The Pintupi People are from the Western Desert area west of Lake Mac Donald and Lake Mackay in Western Australia.

In the 1960’s, many were resettled at Papunya township in Central Australia to ‘assist assimilation’. In spite of this forced relocation from their homelands and attempted suppression of culture and language, much has been preserved through practice of their art, predominantly through the encouragement of Geoffrey Bardon.

In the 1970’s, Geoffrey Bardon assisted a group of elders, grand masters such as Uta Uta Tjangala, Yala Yala Gibbs, Mick Namerari Tjapaltjari, Johnny Warangkula and Charlie Tarawa Tjungurrayi, to transpose traditional designs and stories on to board and canvas essentially creating what was to become the revelation in the Australian art world introducing it to the broader Australian audience and indeed the world. Ningura Napurrula’s work now adorns a ceiling in the musée du quai Branly, Paris, France.

Sophisticated, perceived linear abstraction, typifies Pintupi works that are, however, deeply entrenched in sacred lore and ceremony.

The success of Pintupi artists and revenu from the sale of their works has enabled them to reclaim and resettle their ancestral lands and the establishment of the community ofKintore, approximately 300kms west of Papunya in the early 1980’s and Kiwirrkura another 200kms west in the mid 1980’s.

It was in 1984 that the very last Pintupi family group walked in to Kiwirrkura from the desert having lived a completely traditional hunter-gather lifestyle up until then. Known as the Pintupi Nine, amongst them were the now renowned artists, Warlimpirrigna and Walala Tjapaltjarri, Yalti and Yukultji Napangardi.

 Pintupi women, including Yukultji Napangati and Yuyuya Namptijinpa, performing a women's ceremony relating to the site of Marrapinti and nose bone making before their works on the subject.

Pintupi women, including Yukultji Napangati and Yuyuya Namptijinpa, performing a women's ceremony relating to the site of Marrapinti and nose bone making before their works on the subject.

 'Art Pintupi' exhibition, Galerie DAD, France

'Art Pintupi' exhibition, Galerie DAD, France

Art of the Kimberley

The Kimberley in Australia's most north western region is not only geographically spectacular but is home to arguably the worlds oldest rock art sites. Powerful creator Wandjina spirits, dancing Gwion Gwion figures, animal representations and evidence of first contact adorn rock faces, some works are estimated to be 50,000 years old. Ancient dance, ceremonies, art and song associated with Kimberley culture are still performed and celebrated today.