The Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards, the richest Indigenous arts prize in the country, is a national award founded in 2008 to celebrate the breadth, diversity and excellence of art from all corners of Indigenous Australia. The awards acknowledge the significant and ongoing contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists make to Australian art, culture and society.

16 finalists will be represented in the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2011. The artists who have been invited to participate in the awards exhibition have the opportunity to share in $65,000 in prizes. The awards comprise a group exhibition of outstanding art and three non-acquisitive awards totalling $65,000: the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award of $50,000; the Western Australian Artist Award of $10,000; and the People’s Choice Award of $5,000.

The $50,000 Western Australian Indigenous Art Award will be awarded to the artist whose work in the awards exhibition is considered by the selection panel to be the most outstanding. The winner of this award and the $10,000 recipient will be announced at the opening event on August 12. The People’s Choice Award of $5,000 will be presented at the end of the exhibition season to the artist who receives the highest number of visitor votes.

The selection panel for the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2011 consisted of two Indigenous curators: Tina Baum, and Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, a curator of contemporary Australian art, Robert Cook and author and anthropologist, Professor Howard Morphy, each with nationally-acknowledged expertise and knowledge within the Australian arts sector.

Painting by the 2010 Winner of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award
Wakartu Cory Surprise Bimarral Jila 2009 synthetic polymer paint on canvas
178.3 x 237.2 cm Artwork courtesy of the Hassall Collection, Sydney Image © Wakartu Cory Surprise, courtesy of Mangkaja Arts, Fitzroy Crossing Page 1 of 2
Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2011 The 16 artists selected to exhibit are:

Jan Billycan (WA, Yulparija)
Michael Cook (QLD, Bidjara)
Timothy Cook (NT, Tiwi)
Angkaliya Curtis (SA, Pitjantjatjara)
Gunybi Ganambarr (NT, Ngaymil)
Angelina George (NT, Yugul Mangi)
Gary Lee (ACT, Larrakia/Karajarri/Wadaman)
Danie Mellor (ACT, Mamu/Ngagen/Ngajan)
Patrick Mung Mung (WA, Gija)
Trevor Nickolls (SA, Ngarrindjeri)
Lena Nyadbi (WA, Gija)
Tiger Palpatja (SA, Pitjantjatjara)
Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul (QLD, Kayardild)
Reko Rennie (VIC, Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay/Gummaroi)
Nyilyari Tjapangati (NT, Pintupi)
Nyapanyapa Yunupingu (NT, Gumatj)

The awards and exhibition are supported by the Government of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts.

The Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2011 are on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from Saturday 13 August “ Monday 19 December 2011.

See their website for more information: