Pioneering contemporary artwork from native Australians across the country is unveiled in Adelaide as part of this year’s Tarnanthi Festival.
- The Tarnanthi Art Fair in 2021 has been launched online for the first time
- It is part of the wider Tarnanthi Festival season, which runs until January
- Artists from all over the country will take part in the celebration of contemporary art and culture
Approximately 1,400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have participated in a series of events where 189 people showcased their work at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
For the first time, this year’s popular Tarnanthi Art Fair will only work online.
Artistic director Nici Cumpston said people from across the country and the world would be able to log on to purchase a large selection of works.
“We were worried that there was a lockdown and that we could not support the artists to be able to come and sell their works,” she said.
The artist Gail Mabo from the Piadram clan is the daughter of the native title campaign Eddie Mabo, who changed the course of Australian history.
Her work is made with bamboo that was planted by her father decades ago at James Cook University in Townsville.
She said her father would be proud of her work today.
“I’m pretty honored to be his daughter and have the ability to share his stories with a lot of people.”
She said her father, who painted watercolor, inspired her to become an artist.
“With the art of doing, it recognizes the indigenous people and the places they come from,” she said.
“With every area within this exhibition, you recognize people, place and culture, because not one community is the same as the other.
“We all come from different communities, we all speak different languages, but we have a connection that is connection to land.”
‘There is a long way to go to Australia’
Meanwhile, trawlwoolway woman Julie Gough will turn the table on Victorian-era furniture and paintings.
Her installation tells the tragic story of her family history and questions the impact of colonization.
“There is such a long way to go in Australia that Aborigines are not even invited to the table, it still has to come quite often, but actually to be the table that others will come to to move forward, how to describe, discuss, educate. “
The online Tarnanthi Art Fair goes live today and lasts until Monday.