Landmark space embodies soul of the nation

Aboriginal Art Directory | 09.10.10

Author: Miriam Cosic
News source: The Australian

Indigenous art has found a welcome home at the reinvigorated National Gallery of Australia.

AT last, indigenous art has the national showcase it needs: 11 luminous, purpose-built galleries at the entrance to the country's flagship visual arts institution in the centre of the federal capital.

It is a significant political, as well as aesthetic, statement: this art makes Australia unique, and it is the art of people whose existence, often overlooked, lies at the heart of the nation.

It's not that we haven't been able to see fine examples of indigenous work before, in curator Hetti Perkins's gem-like Yiribana space in the Art Gallery of NSW, for example, or in the more extensive collection of the scholarly Judith Ryan at the National Gallery of Victoria.

But the $107 million extension to the National Gallery of Australia, which opened last week, is something else. It is a permanent, region-by-region survey, spanning more than a century and showing the variety of styles and media, indeed cultures, across the continent. Landmark movements and moments are accounted for. A gallery is devoted to early Papunya boards, chosen from 70 the gallery holds. This pioneering movement is hardly a household name outside the art world, even though its startling invention in the early 1970s is unique in world historical terms.


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Contact Details

Gallery: National Gallery of Australia
Contact: Tina Baum - Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art
Telephone: +61 2 6240 6502
Address: Parkes Place or GPO Box 1150 Canberra ACT 2601 Parkes Parkes 2601 ACT



Further Research

Gallery: National Gallery of Australia

News Categories: Newspaper

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