68 Indigenous artists from across Australia have been selected as finalists for the 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAAs), the country’s longest running and most illustrious Indigenous art awards. Telstra has announced that it is so proud to sponsor the awards, now in their 36th year, that they’re going to extend their partnership for another three years.
Supporting the NATSIAA for 28 of its 36 years”, their announcement states’ “means that we have seen how supporting a focal point of our country’s finest Indigenous artists further showcases their talent, shares their stories and expresses their imagination. We believe it is an important part of Australian society to share ideas and culture through artistic expression, in all its diverse forms.
Working with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory to display Indigenous culture in the Telstra NATSIAA, Telstra believes it is helping to support an inclusive Australia where all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected and empowered to thrive.
Across the eight awards categories, First Nations artists from regional and urban areas submitted 280 entries in the 2019 NATSIAA, with finalist judging taking place last week in Sydney. Pre-selectors are Luke Scholes from MAGNT, retired curator Hetti Perkins and the MCA’s Clothilde Bullen. Collectively, winners will receive $80,000, including the $50,000 Telstra Art Award for the work judged most outstanding in all categories and the Telstra Emerging Artist Award of $5000 awarded from any category to an artist working in their first five years of practice.
MAGNT’s Indigenous curator, Luke Scholls enthused: The emerging artist category continues to breathe new life into the Awards and the broader arts sector.
MAGNT Director, Marcus Schutenko said: MAGNT is thrilled to receive such an exciting range of emerging and established artists’ entries from most Australian states and territories.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn “ himself a collector – added: The Awards now stand as a globally significant artistic celebration and enormous credit for that must go to MAGNT for providing such a brilliant showcase for the unique creativity and diverse talents of Indigenous artists. The quality and scope of the work this year is again superb.
The winners of the 36th Telstra NATSIAA will be announced at an awards ceremony at MAGNT’s Bullocky Point site as the sun sets on Friday 9 August 2019.
The Finalists by region:
Betty Kuntiwa Pumani
Billy Tjampijinpa Kenda
Sally M Mulda
Victoria – Cassie Leatham Christopher Pease James Tylor Kent Morris
Australian Capital Territory – Krystal Hurst
New South Wales – Dean Cross
Queensland – Danie Mellor Robert Tommy Pau
John Prince Siddon
Ngarralja Tommy May
Many familiar names there “ though it’s delightful to see old names like Rusty Peters and Neville McArthur still producing gems, relative unknowns like Titus Nganjmirra, Timo Hogan and Krystal Hurst breaking through, and superstars like Djambawa and Nonggirrgna Marawili, Waywiriya Burton and last year’s Big Telstra winner Gunybi Ganambarr continuing to compete. I have to say that the Queensland representation is a disappointment – just a single Torres Strait Islander and no one from the Cape. What’s up?
And who is Donald Thompson – a reincarnation of the great Arnhemland pioneer?
The final Judges Panel will consist of Rhana Devenport, appointed Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia just last year, but was previously in New Zealand and, before that worked on the Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery: my friend Pedro Wonaeamirri who is a senior Tiwi artist and community leader in Millikapiti, Melville Island; and Zoe Rimmeris the Senior Curator of Indigenous Cultures at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and a proud member of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community.
Artist: Carlene Thompson, Damien Shen, Kaylene Whiskey, Nici Cumpston, Pepai Carroll, Peter Mungkuri, Rupert Jack, Bob Gibson, Bugai Whyoulter, Daisy Japulija, Fred Grant, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, John Prince Siddon, Lawrence Pennington, Mabel Juli, Mervyn Street, Myrtle Pennington,Ned Grant, Ngarralja Tommy May, Nyaparu Gardiner, Rusty Peters, Sonia Kurarra, Timo Hogan, Danie Mellor, Robert Tommy Pau, Dean Cross, Krystal Hurst, Cassie Leatham, Christopher Pease, James Tylor, Kent MorrisB. Yunupingu, Barayuwa MunuÅ‹gurr, Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Billy Tjampijinpa Kenda, Deborah Wurrkidj, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Donald Thompson, Djambawa Marawili, Gary Lee, Grace Robinya, Gunybi Ganambarr, Gutingarra Yunupingu, Iluwanti Ken, Lance James, Lena Yarinkura, Lynette Lewis, Malaluba Gumana, Mantua Nangala, Marlene Rubuntja, Mary Dhapalany, Matjangka(Nyukana) Norris, Mick Wikilyiri, Napuwarri Marawili, Neville McArthur, Nola Campbell, NoÅ‹girrÅ‹a Marawili, Nyunmiti Burton, Owen Yalandja, Sally M Mulda, Titus Nganjmirra, Tony Cameron, Wawiriya Burton, Witjiti George, Wurrandan Marawili, Yaritji Young, Yimula MunuÅ‹gurr,