Anniebell Marrngamarrnga with her 2.5 metre tall 2009 winning Togart entry, Yawkyawk, woven from pandanus

Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 25.02.10

Dates: 05.08.10 : 29.08.10
Location: Parliament House, Darwin

The Northern Territory's Togart Contemporary Art Award is one of Australia’s richest contemporary art awards and entries are now open until 15th March.

The annual Award is open to all artists who base their practice within the Northern Territory or whose work demonstrates a strong connection with the NT.

With a total prize pool of $20,000, the Award celebrates the diversity that makes up Territory art – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous; and it showcases the best contemporary art across a range of art practices as the Award is open to two and three dimensional work, including multimedia. But artists can only enter one work for the Award.

The Award is a great platform for emerging and established artists. The first, 2007 winner Chayni Henry, for instance had works acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank and other major collections throughout Australia. In 2008, the recognition of Djirrirra Wunungmurra's suite of Larrikitj poles was a significant step for that young woman artist. Last year, Anniebell Marrngamarrnga from across Arnhemland won for her invention of the 2-dimensional woven Yawkyawk figures that have become so familiar. Many shortlisted artists have gone on to find gallery representation or to present solo shows throughout Australia.

Judges have included gallerists Philip Bacon and Bill Nuttall plus curators Deborah Hart, Elena Taylor and Franchesca Cubillo.

The Award is the gift of the Toga Group of companies, which include Medina and Vibe hotels, but which has been heavily involved in Darwin developing the Waterfront - including its public art commissions. Felicity Green is the founding Togart Award Manager.

Application forms are available at or call 08 8981 6688. Entries to the Togart Contemporary Art Award must be received by no later than close of business Monday 15 March 2010.

The Togart Contemporary Art Award exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday 5 August – 29th August at Parliament House in Darwin - the first time that it's coincided with the NATSIAAs and the Darwin Art Fair. It's the only place that you'll see a bamboo construction by Tobias Richardson, political posters by Franck Gohier and Chips Mackinolty, a photo by Bronwyn Wright and a delicate watercolour by Hayley West hanging beside canvases and barks by some of the greats of remote Aboriginal art. Entry is free.


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