Perhaps the most widely publicized issue in the contemporary art world is the misrepresentation and unethical sourcing of indigenous art. While we generally hear about the detrimental effect that this can have on the individual artists and communities, we rarely hear about the personal and financial losses that it can have for the private collector, the museum and the art industry as a whole. The work of living Indigenous artists accounts for close to 90% of all Australian art exported overseas, so it’s important that the public understands the correct practice of sourcing and buying quality artwork to avoid damaging the industry as a whole as well as wasting their money on a bad investment.

To raise awareness of this issue, United Galleries and the David Wirrpanda Foundation present Painting Country, an inaugural exhibition bringing together some of Australia’s leading contemporary indigenous artists including Dorothy Napangardi, Gloria Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Ningura Napurrula, Ngoia Pollard, Robert Murray and Matilda Charles. Part proceeds of all sales go to support and mentor Australia’s indigenous youth.All of the artists were asked to paint the concept of country “ the land that they belong to “ all in their own unique way.

The term ˜Country’ to indigenous Australians refers not only to the physical landscape, but also to the spirits, customs and Dreaming associated with that site. These paintings connect each artist to the land, its past, present and future, and are essentially the spiritual landscapes of the central desert region.