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Celebrating The Winners Of The 2021 Telstra NATSIAA!

Art

Now in its 38th year, the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) are considered the most exciting and prestigious art awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, bringing together entries from established and emerging artists, and reflecting the incredible variety of artwork being created by artists all over the country.

On Friday last week, seven artists were celebrated as the winners of this years Telstra NATSIAA across seven categories. All 65 finalists’ powerful works are now on display at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) – and while many of us can’t be there to see it in real life, you can take a virtual tour to see the work here

10th August, 2021

Tjukapati James, Kungka Kutjara 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Tjarlirli Art

Angkaliya Curtis, Cave Hill 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Tjungu Palya Artists

Doris Bush Nungarrayi, Anangu tjuta at Nyunmanu & Papa Tjukurrpa 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Papunya Tjupi Arts

Left to right:
George Tjungurrayi, Tingari Men at Wilkinkarra 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Papunya Tula Artists.
Alycia Marrday, Baladjdji (backpack bag) 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Marrawuddi Arts & Culture

Djambawa Marawili, Lorr’ – the lair 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Betty Chimney, Ngayuku ngura My Country) 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Iwantja Arts

Charles Jangala Inkamala, Larapinta, go this way, Hidden Valley, Hermannsburg Road 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists

Djerrkŋu Yunupiŋu, Bukuway – the dream 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Bobby West Tjupurrula, Tingari Men at Palipalintja 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Papunya Tula Artists

Adrian Jangala Robertson, Yalpirakinu 2021. Courtesty of the artist and Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists

Left to right:

Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Alchemy 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Napuwarri Marawili, Dark water 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri, Purukupali and Wai-ai (Bima) with Jurrukukuni (owl) and marriwiyi (ornaments) 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood, Larmparn jirruku warnti 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Spinifex Hill Studio

Left to right:

Katjarra Butler, Wingantjirri 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Tjarlirli Art

Tjunkaya Tapaya, OAM, Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Ernabella Arts

John Prince Siddon, My strange stories 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

Left to right:

Nola Yurnangurnu Campbell, Yunpalara 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Warakurna Artists

Sonia Kurarra, Martuwarra 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

Sally Scales, Wati Tjakura 2021. Courtesy of the artist and APY Art Centre Collective

Left to right:

Muluymuluy Wirrpanda, Buḻwutja 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Mary Katatjuku Pan, Animal tjuta – animals of Watarru 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Tjala Arts

Left to right:

Denise Brady, Pika kura panya 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Tjarlirli Art

Witjiti George, Piltati: Wanampi Tjukurpa 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Kaltjiti Arts

Left to right:

Yangyangkari Roma Butler, Ngayulu munu ngayuku papa (Me and my dogs) 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Rhonda Sharpe, My selfs with cowboy 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

MAGNT Director, Marcus Schutenko and MAGNT Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture, Rebekah Raymond. Photo – Charlie Bliss.

Sally Tabart
Tuesday 10th August 2021

While there might be different geographical locations and social contexts, I think that all of these artists are sharing what it means to be a First Nations person today, in all of its complexity and layers and responsibilities and heaviness’. – Rebekah Raymond. 

By now you know that some of the most important artwork in the country is being produced by First Nations artists – and the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) are where you’ll find the best of the best!

Timo Hogan, an artist from WA’s remote Tjuntjuntjara community, took out the coveted Telstra Art Award (which comes with the prize of $50,000) for his 2020 work Lake Baker, which pays homage to the significance of his father’s Country.

‘I am very happy to have won this award. It makes me feel strong inside. Painting is important for Anangu (Aboriginal people) to tell their stories. The Art Centre is a good place for people to come and be together and paint their Country. I’m happy for this prize and that people see this work is important,’ said Timo.

Rebekah Raymond, an Arabana, Limilngan-Wulna, Wuthathi, and Mualgal woman, writer, and MAGNT’s Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture says, ‘Timo has an extremely exciting future ahead of him – and the strength of his work comes because he opens his heart to us, and that’s a wonderful gift that he gives us.’

Rebekah makes note of the incredible variety of artworks present in this year’s NATSIAA – from paintings, sculptures, woven pieces and ceramic works, to photography, multimedia, installation and performance art. ‘While there might be different geographical locations and social contexts, I think that all of these artists are sharing what it means to be a First Nations person today, in all of its complexity and layers and responsibilities and heaviness…. it’s amazing to see artists of all ages innovating and expanding their practices in unexpected ways’, she says.

Read on to learn more about the winners, and what the judges had to say about their wonderful work!

Timo Hogan, Lake Baker 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Spinifex Arts Project Aboriginal Corporation. Photo – Philip Gostelow.

Telstra Art Award – Timo Hogan, ‘Lake Baker’ (2020) 

Judge’s comments:  ‘A masterful painting of international calibre, Lake Baker heralds Timo Hogan as a remarkably confident artist with talent that exceeds his age and experience. In a work of this scale, there is nowhere for an artist to hide: Timo’s restrained use of paint, texture and form not only demonstrates exceptional artistic instinct, but also his intimate connection to Country. Lake Baker is a mediative, connected and assured master work by one of Australia’s most exciting up and coming artists.’

Left to right:

Bugai Whyoulter, Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25) 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Martumili Artists

Pedro Wonaeamirri, Jilarti – still of live performance of Jilarti (brolga song) with pimirtiki (feather headpiece), imeuja (false beard), tokwayinga feather ball), tjimirrikamarka (fighting stick), tunga (folded bark bag) 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association

General Painting Award – Bugai WhyouLter, ‘Wantili’ (2021)

Judge’s comments: Wantili in the perfect example of the way an artwork can captivate the viewer without shouting for attention. A comparatively quieter work to many others in the exhibition, all three judges were immediately drawn to Bugai’s gestural brushstrokes and expressive use of paint.

Multimedia Award – Pedro Wonaeamirri, ‘Jilarti, live performance of Jilarti (brolga song), pimirtiki (feather head piece), imeuja (false beard), tokwayinga (feather ball), tjimirrikamarka (fighting stick), tunga (folded bark bag)’ (2021)

Judges comments: Jilarti – live performance of Jilarti (brolga song) with pimirtiki (feather headpiece), imeuja (false beard), tokwayinga (feather ball), tjimirrikamarka (fighting stick), tunga (folded bark bag) is an embodied work that brings objects and 5 performance into dialogue. By animating these objects through ceremony – both live and digitally presented – Pedro offers a powerful reminder to all of us that Aboriginal culture is a living culture, rich in tradition. 

Left to right:

Dhambit Munuŋgurr, Bees at Gäṉgän 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Hubert Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja, Through the veil of time 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre

Bark Painting Award – Dhambit Munuŋgurr, ‘Bees at Gäṉgän'(2021)

Judge’s comments: Dhambit Munuŋgurr’s electric blue works, which pulsate with life and vitality, are completely transforming the medium and conventions of bark painting as we know it. Bees at Gäṉgän is an outstanding example of this – an innovative work in its use of colour, representation, technique and scale. The judges were excited by Dhambit’s experimentation and its blurring of the distinctions between ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ art.

Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award – Hubert Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja, ‘Through the veil of time’ (2021)

Judge’s comments: Hubert Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja’s immersive work Through the veil of time transported the judging panel to the Central Desert, and allowed us to experience Country through the eyes of the Hermannsburg School. Traditionally small-scale watercolourists, we were excited to see the artists working collaboratively and scaling up the size of their work.

Left to right:

Ms M Wirrpanda, Untitled 2021. Courtesy of the Estate of Ms M Wirrpanda and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre

Kyra Mancktelow, Moongalba 11 2021. Courtesy of the artist and N.Smith Gallery

Works on Paper Award – Ms M Wirrpanda, ‘Untitled’ (2021)

Judges comments: Abstract and unexpected, Untitled is a gift for all of us left by the late and great artist Ms M Wirrpanda. Completed during the last few months of her life, the judges noted that the work felt unconstrained by traditional artistic conventions and offered viewers an experimental and intriguing visual interpretation of the story depicted.

Emerging Artist Award – Kyra Mancktelow, ‘Moongalba’ 11 (2021)

Judge’s comments: Kyra’s haunting and ghostly work Moongalba 11 exploits the medium of printmaking, textiles and etching to communicate a deeply painful and dark chapter of Australian history. Touching on the devastating impact of colonisation, Christianity and assimilation, Kyra’s powerful and evocative work is a moving tribute to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families who torn apart by missionaries during the 19th century.

Explore the winners and finalists of the 38th Telstra NATSIAA in a virtual gallery tour 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.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net