First Nations art triennial 'Ceremony' to take place at NGA this November | HerCanberra

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First Nations art triennial ‘Ceremony’ to take place at NGA this November

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More than 35 First Nations artists will celebrate the practice of ceremony in their work at the fourth National Indigenous Art Triennial.

Bringing together a diverse range of First Nations artists across a variety of mediums, The National Indigenous Art Triennial will take place from November 2021 at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). Themed ‘Ceremony’, it will be the fourth such triennial to celebrate the lasting impact and importance of First Nations artists and art.

The National Gallery of Australia’s senior curator-at-large Hetti Perkins, an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman, who is working with a dedicated team to bring the event to life says the theme of ‘ceremony’ is a fitting way to weave together the vast diversity of works.

“Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous cultural tradition, and it continues in ways today that are very much connected to what artists have done over millennia. Ceremonies are perceived as traditional and historical, yet, in fact, the ceremonial act, whether it be an intimate ritual or public demonstration, is an important part of everyday life.”

“Ceremony makes the point that our culture has survived—not only over the many thousands of years but, particularly, the last couple of hundred years—because of its capacity for innovation and adaptability. That is something that distinguishes the work of our artists today.”

Portrait of Hayley Millar Baker, image courtesy the artist, photograph: Saul Steed.

While First Nations artists will travel from all across Australia and the Torres Strait, the National Gallery of Australia has stated that engagement with regional traditional custodians will be a “significant focus for the exhibition”.

One such example will be Ngambri-Ngunnawal Elder Dr Matilda House and her son Paul House inaugurating murruwaygu, a permanent public art installation of traditional Aboriginal tree scarring in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden.

Paul House in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden, 2021, image courtesy and © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

The artists exhibiting in Ceremony are:

  • Robert Andrew (Yawuru)
  • Joel Bray (Wiradjuri)
  • Pepai Jangala Carroll (Luritja and Pintupi)
  • Penny Evans (Gamilaroi)
  • Robert Fielding (Western Arrernte, Yankunytjatjara)
  • Nicole Foreshew (Wiradjuri) and the late Boorljoonngali (Gija)
  • Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra (Liyagawumirr-Garrawurra)
  • Dr Matilda House and Paul House (Ngambri-Ngunnawal)
  • Hayley Millar Baker (Gunditjmara)
  • Mantua Nangala (Pintupi)
  • SJ Norman (Wiradjuri)
  • Dylan River (Kaytetye)
  • Darrell Sibosado (Bard)
  • Andrew Snelgar (Ngemba)
  • Joel Spring (Wiradjuri)
  • James Tylor (Kaurna)
  • Yarrenyty Arltere Artists Marlene Rubuntja (Western Arrarnta), Trudy Inkamala (Western Arrarnta and Luritja), Dulcie Sharpe (Luritja and Arrernte), Rhonda Sharpe (Luritja), Roxanne Petrick (Alyawarre), Nanette Sharpe (Western Arrarnta), Sheree Inkamala (Luritja, Pitjantjara and Western Arrarnta), Rosabella Ryder (Arrernte), Louise Robertson (Walpiri), Cornelius Ebatarinja (Western Arrarnta and Arrernte) and Tangentyere Artists Betty Conway (Pitjantjatjara), Nyinta Donald (Pitjantjatjara), Sally M. Mulda (Pitjantjatjara and Luritja), Majorie Williams (Western Arrarnta), Lizzie Jako (Pitjantjatjara), Grace Robinya (Western Arrarnta)
  • Gutingarra Yunupingu (Dhuwala)


What: National Indigenous Art Triennial
When: November 2021–March 2022
Where: National Gallery of Australia

Feature image: Portrait of Hetti Perkins, 2021, image courtesy and © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

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