A touring exhibition from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
22 April to 25 July 2004
National Archives, Canberra
The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award “ Celebrating 20 Years, is one of the most significant exhibitions of contemporary Indigenous art.
Sponsored by Telstra, and presented by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the exhibition comprises some of the finest works from the 18th, 19th and 20th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA).
The art works illustrate the exciting developments in contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art over the past three years and show just why Australian Indigenous art is so vibrant. The exhibition features emerging and established Indigenous artists from a range of cultural and artistic backgrounds. It presents both innovative and conventional works, using media such as bark, canvas, carved wood and metals.
The 48 works are drawn from the collection of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, other public collections and private collections. The exhibition profiles the diversity of art from different regions. It includes the following Telstra first prize winning works:
* urban artist Richard Bell’s Scientia E Metaphysica (Bell’s Theorem) recalls the gestural wild sweeps of Pollock, and the manic colour extravagance of Warhol (winner 2003).
* the powerful and intricately painted memorial pole titled Birrkuda Ringgitji Hollow Log by Arnhem Land artist Gawirrin Gumana (winner 2002).
* the mesmerising, monochromatic painting titled Salt on Mina Mina by Central Australian artist Dorothy Napangardi (winner 2001).
The National Archives is proud to present Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award “ Celebrating 20 Years. Each artwork acts as a social document “ a repository of stories and perspectives on experiences lived, shared and passed through the generations to depictions of the current day.
The exhibition complements the Archives collection, which includes records of many Indigenous people’s lives, as well as records that document the shifting societal values and government policies and programs over the past century.