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Announcing The Winners of The 35th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

Art

Today we’re bringing you highlights from this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Australia’s longest running and most prestigious Indigenous art award.

The awards provides a succinct snapshot of the best in contemporary indigenous art – on show now at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in Darwin, until November 11th 2018.

11th August, 2018

Painting by Freda Brady, Maringka Tunkin, Sandra Ken, Tjungkara Ken and Yaritji Young.

(Left) painting by Betty Muffler, (right) painting by Bugai Whyoulter and Cyril Whyoulter.

Painting by Sonia Kurrara.

(Left) painting by Charlie Jacob, Clyde Shaw, Junior Mitakiki, Kamarin Mitakiki, Steven Mitakiki and Sydney Waye.(Right) weaving by Helen Ganalmirriwuy.

Painting by Kaylene Whiskey.

Painting by Adrian Jangala Robertson.

Painting by Mumu Mike Williams.

Painting by Mavis Ngallametta.

Painting by Daisy Japulija.

Lucy Feagins
Saturday 11th August 2018

Established in 1984, The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) has been providing a platform for the diverse practices of Indigenous artists for 35 years.

Awarding a total of $80,000 in non-acquisitive prizes, the awards aims to showcase the very best Indigenous art from around Australia. In addition to the main $50,000  Telstra Art Award prize , prizes are awarded in six specific categories, across multiple art disciplines including bark painting, general painting, three-dimensions works, multimedia, emerging art and a people’s choice award.

From more than 300 entries, the top prize this year was awarded to Gunybi Ganambarr, from the remote community of Gan Gan in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Ganambarr’s work, Buyku, is an intricate etching on aluminium board. Described by the judges as ‘a commanding and powerful work’ this intensely detailed painting illustrates the artist’s deep knowledge of culture and ceremony.

In addition to the main award, each category winner was awarded a $5,000 prize. Above, peruse our overview of highlights from the 66 diverse finalists, and below, the winners are announced!

 

 

Telstra Art Award winner, Gunybi Ganambarr, of Gan Gan, NT, with his winning work – Buyku. Photo – Fiona Morrison.

Telstra Art Award – Gunybi Ganambarr

NATSIAA’s biggest prize this year was awarded to Gunybi Ganambarr, from the remote community of Gan Gan in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Ganambarr’s work, Buyku, is an intricate etching on aluminium board, described by the judges as ‘a commanding and powerful work’ this intensely detailed painting illustrates the artist’s deep knowledge of culture and ceremony.

The Bark Painting Award went to Napuwarri Marawili, for his painting entitled Baraltja Dugong Yathikpa, crated using natural pigments on Stringybark.

Telstra Bark Painting Award recipient Napuwarri Marawili of Yilpara, NT. Photo – Fiona Morrison.

Telstra Bark Painting Award – Napuwarri Marawili

The bark painting award went to Napuwarri Marawili of Yilpara, NT, for his work entitled Baraltja Dugong Yathikpa.

This work represents an ancestral journey, in which a hunting party took to the sea in pursuit of Dugong. The hunters were lured close to a dangerous rock where the dugong feed on a sea grass known as Gamata. These ribbons of sea grass sway in the water, as depicted in the work.

The Telstra General Painting Award went to Peter Mungkuri of Indulkana, South Australia

The Telstra General Painting Award went to Peter Mungkuri, for Ngura (Country). Ink and synthetic polymer paint on linen, 2018.

Telstra General Painting Award winner Peter Mungkuri. Photo – Rhett Hammerton, Courtesy of Iwantja Arts.

Telstra General Painting Award – Peter Mungkuri

Peter Mungkuri of Indulkana, South Australia won the general painting award with his work ‘Ngura‘ (Country).

Mungkuri said: “This is my drawing about my country. This land is my home, it’s where it all started. I’ve got good knowledge of horses, stockmen, and the country. These things, everything, is my memory – my knowledge. I like painting my country, I like to paint the memories of my country.”

The Works on Paper Award went to Kathy Inkamala of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in the Northern Territory, for her work ‘Mount Gillen, Western MacDonnell Ranges‘. Photo – Fiona Morrison.

Kathy Inkamala’s work on paper, entitled Mount Gillen, Western MacDonnell Ranges, painted in pigment ink and gouache on Arches 300gsm cold-press paper.

Telstra Works on Paper Award – Kathy Inkamala

The Works on Paper Award went to Kathy Inkamala of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in the Northern Territory. Kathy Ngala Inkamala’s painting depicts the Western MacDonnell Ranges, characterised by a meticulous, illustrative approach, and intensely vivid colour palette.

The Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award went to Wukun Wanambi of Yirrkala, in NT, for his work entitled ‘Destiny‘.

Wukun Wanambi’s winning sculptural work, Destiny, created using natural pigments on Stringybark pole with video.

Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award – Wukun Wanambi

The Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award went to Wukun Wanambi of Yirrkala, in NT, for his work entitled ‘Destiny‘. Wukun’s winning entry evokes the turbulent waters of Gurkawuy River, clashing with the incoming tidal waters near Trial Bay.

The Telstra Emerging Artist Award went to Matthew Dhamuliya Gurriwiwi of Warruwi, NT for his work ‘Banumbirr‘ (Morning Star Poles) created from natural pigments, feathers, bush string, bush wax and Milkwood.

The Telstra Emerging Artist Award went to Matthew Dhamuliya Gurriwiwi of Warruwi, NT for his work ‘Banumbirr‘. Photo – Fiona Morrison.

Telstra Emerging Artist Award – Matthew Dhamuliya Gurruwiwi

The Telstra Emerging Artist Award went to Matthew Dhamuliya Gurriwiwi of Warruwi, NT for his work ‘Banumbirr‘.

Banumbirr, or Morning Star Poles, are ceremonial poles belonging to the Galpu clan of Arnhem Land. Made using soft local wood, natural earth pigments, and feathers, bush wax and handmade bush string, they are traditionally used for funeral ceremonies.

The artist explains “I was born and raised to be an artist, and I see it as my job to carry on the traditional art making for the Galpu clan. Making Banumbirr has been passed on to me and it is important I keep doing it and keep my culture strong.”

The Telstra Multimedia Award went to Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr of Yirrkala, NT.

The Telstra Multimedia Award went to Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr of Yirrkala, NT, for her video work, entitled ‘Dhunupa‘kum nhuna wanda‘ (Straightening your mind).

Telstra Multimedia Award – Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr

The Telstra Multimedia Award went to Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr of Yirrkala, NT, for her video work, entitled ‘Dhunupa‘kum nhuna wanda‘ (Straightening your mind)

This film shows the artist painting her forehead with gapan (white clay), traditionally used on the face and body for ceremonial purposes.

Patrina explains “My people, the Djapu people, sing the cloud song. This songline tells Yolŋu to paint themselves with gapaṉ. The old people sing this ancient songline to ask Yolŋu to paint themselves with gapaṉ before they start performing buŋgul (ceremonial dance).”

35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards
Until November 11th
 The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
19 Conacher Street, The Gardens, Darwin

​All entries are currently on exhibit at MAGNT in Darwin. Visit the website for more information, judges’ comments, and to view all entries, here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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