The presence of indigenous art at the Art Gallery of South Australia will be transformed by a $1.05 million grant from Santos.

The funds will overcome a major impediment in the gallery’s plans to make the most of its pioneering collection of more than 1000 indigenous works of art.

Director Christopher Menz said the gallery had planned to put its indigenous art collection online but had run into difficulties because of the copyright payments necessary for displaying indigenous art.

“It’s fantastic for us to continue our long-term association with Santos,” he said. “The main things for us are enabling us to place our Aboriginal collection images online and that’s a big project.”

Mr Menz said part of the Santos grant would cover copyright fees.