“The Art of the Nation”

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 07.08.20

“Thank you mob in Darwin for this business. Thank you. At last. I feel proud. I’ve been trying all my life, all the time second, fourth, last, sometimes nothing. But I got it now, today. My day, my time this year, I’m the winner. At last.” That was the glorious response of the 'Big Telstra' winner, 85-year-old Ngarralja Tommy May to his triumph in his third appearance in the finals of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards after many more entries. It surely reveals how important this event is for artists; and how competitive they are to win an award there. Tommy May is a Wangkajunga and Walmajarri man, born in the Great Sandy Desert. He paints, dances and sings Kurtal, a ceremony relating to the main jila /waterhole in his Country. “I was big when I left my Country. I was already hunting by myself”, May was in fact one of the last of his people to head out of the desert to work on the cattle properties of The Kimberley around Fitzroy Crossing. As a result, he adds,“I know these stories and these places in my country. I paint these now. I first saw paintings in caves. I learned a lot from people, mostly my father and grandfather. When I paint I think about this”. Intriguingly, the earlier art he created for his NATSIAA appearance in 2001, for the Ngurrara Canvas and for the Canning Stock Route exhibition was quite different. But in 2013, he attended a workshop with the Melbourne Blak artist, Reko Rennie, was given a posca pen and a fluoro board to mark on to, and his development into a master of creating images of rain, rocks and sand dunes on Country with an infinite variety scratched lines began. “My work is» Read More

 

Art Is Fashionable

Art Is Fashionable

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 06.08.20

The inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards were handed out last night in Darwin (ie online) courtesy of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (also online), which has been promoting this sub-branch of First Nations art for a few years now. And...» Read More

 

The Salon, 2020

The Salon, 2020

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 06.08.20

For the first time in umpteen years, I haven't been in the balmy night in Darwin attending the opening of the Salon des Refuses - Aboriginal art's response to the 19th Century French Impressionists' rebellion against rejection by 'official' art...» Read More

 

MR R PETERS 1935-2020

MR R PETERS 1935-2020

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 03.08.20

The outstanding philosophical thinker of the Gija people in the East Kimberley, Rusty Peters has died in his 86th year. This long tall, thin and reticent man let his painting do the talking after he joined the Jirrawun group of...» Read More

 

EMILY v DOROTHY

EMILY v DOROTHY

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 30.07.20

What a year for the women! Major exhibitions are currently on (with serious catalogues) for Mavis Ngallametta (QAG), Nyapanyapa Yunupingu (MAGNT) and Destiny Deacon (NGV); earlier this year Emily Kngwarreye had significant sales in Sydney and New York on the...» Read More

 

The Convict Valley – The Hunter

The Convict Valley – The Hunter

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 27.07.20

Commandant James Wallis emerged for me – though not perhaps for Mark Dunn,The Convict Valley's author – at the symbolic epicentre of this history. Have you ever heard of him – or of Wallis Plains, named in his honour, also...» Read More

 

Repatriated Art at Auction

Repatriated Art at Auction

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.07.20

Coincidentally, two substantial foreign collections of Aboriginal art have been returned home in COVID-time to be sold at auction. Tonight, online, Deutscher & Hackett offer the Peter and Renate Nahum Collection from London. And on 22 July in Sydney, Bonhams...» Read More

 

Kaurna Shield Comes to Adelaide

Kaurna Shield Comes to Adelaide

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 08.07.20

The Federal Government has announced $100,000 to support the acquisition of a rare 19th century Murlapaka (also spelt Mulubakka) shield, attributed to the Kaurna people from the Adelaide Plains, by the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA). Minister for the...» Read More

 

Current Exhibitions


Industry Corner: Event

“The Art of the Nation”

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 07.08.20

“Thank you mob in Darwin for this business. Thank you. At last. I feel proud. I’ve been trying all my life, all the time second, fourth, last, sometimes nothing. But I got it now, today. My day, my time this...» Read More

Industry Corner: Event

Art Is Fashionable

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 06.08.20

The inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards were handed out last night in Darwin (ie online) courtesy of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (also online), which has been promoting this sub-branch of First Nations art for a few years now. And...» Read More

Events: Event

Repatriated Art at Auction

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 15.07.20

Coincidentally, two substantial foreign collections of Aboriginal art have been returned home in COVID-time to be sold at auction. Tonight, online, Deutscher & Hackett offer the Peter and Renate Nahum Collection from London. And on 22 July in Sydney, Bonhams...» Read More

Events: Auction

Sotheby's NY Inaugural Aboriginal Art Auction

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 17.12.19

The first dedicated Aboriginal art auction in the US by an international auction house was held by Sotheby's in New York on December 13. The sale surpassed its high estimate with 88% of all lots sold and set eight new...» Read More