2019 National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin

About a year ago when I was working in Darwin, I visited the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and discovered the works of Kaylene Whiskey. In the time since, she’s become a firm favourite of mine, and some of her works have been recently shown at Sydney’s Museum Of Contemporary Art. Because her art touches on the popular culture icons of many Indigenous women of a similar age to her own, I love the “truth” in her works.

This year, working in Darwin, I’ve been able to attend the actual announcement of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

As well as the art, there were some terrific dance and musical performances by, amongst others, Djuki Mala (formerly Chooky Dancers) of “Singing In The Rain”; Electric Fields performing “Pukulpa” and Mojo Juju (who has an amazing voice and stage presence).

A really memorable night.

Dancers to open the art awards
Djuki Mala (formerly Chooky Dancers) performing “Singing In The Rain”
Dancer from the Torres Strait

Among the artists, it was great to see Kaylene Whiskey win an award, and the acceptance speeches by the daughter of Nyaparu (William) Gardiner, and by Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu (in sign language) were really wonderful.

Kaylene WHISKEY Yankunytjatjara language Indulkana, SA ​ Seven Sistas 2018 water-based enamel on SA tourist attraction road sign 75 x 270 cm
Kaylene WHISKEY Yankunytjatjara language Indulkana, SA ​ Seven Sistas 2018 water-based enamel on SA tourist attraction road sign 75 x 270 cm
Nyaparu (William) GARDINER (dec.) Nyangumarta/Warnman/Manjilyjarra languages South Hedland, WA ​ Our Old People 2018 synthetic polymer paint, lead pencil and ink on paper 114 x 300 x 90 cm
Nyaparu (William) GARDINER (dec.) Nyangumarta/Warnman/Manjilyjarra languages South Hedland, WA ​ Our Old People 2018 synthetic polymer paint, lead pencil and ink on paper 114 x 300 x 90 cm
Malaluba GUMANA Yolŋu Matha language Nhulunbuy, NT ​ Rainbows in the lilies 2018 natural pigments on hollow stringybark 293 x 80 x 80 cm (overall)
Malaluba GUMANA Yolŋu Matha language Nhulunbuy, NT ​ Rainbows in the lilies 2018 natural pigments on hollow stringybark 293 x 80 x 80 cm (overall)
Malaluba GUMANA Yolŋu Matha language Nhulunbuy, NT ​ Rainbows in the lilies 2018 natural pigments on hollow stringybark 293 x 80 x 80 cm (overall)
Owen YALANDJA Kuninjku language Barrihdjowkkeng Outstation, NT 'Ngalkodjek yawkyawk' 2019 natural pigments, charcoal, PVA fixative, stringybark (Eucalyptus tetradonta) 130 x 25 cm 100 x 20 cm
Owen YALANDJA Kuninjku language Barrihdjowkkeng Outstation, NT ‘Ngalkodjek yawkyawk’ 2019 natural pigments, charcoal, PVA fixative, stringybark (Eucalyptus tetradonta) 130 x 25 cm 100 x 20 cm

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