The beauty of Indigenous Australian art has been revered by Aussies for decades. Now, the greater world will also be able to appreciate it. This November, the National Gallery of Australia will present an extensive exhibit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in Berlin.
Titled Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the National Gallery of Australia, the event will showcase over 100 different artworks from over 60 artists. This will be one of the largest Indigenous Australian art exhibits to be held outside Australia, and has significant importance for the Indigenous Australian community. Themes of Indigenous Australian culture, ancient rituals, mythology, country, identity, politics and race will be explored throughout the exhibition.
The National Gallery of Australia has a permanent collection of more than 8,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works of art, and is the largest collection of Indigenous Australian art in the world. Artworks stem back from the 19th century to the present day.
‘This is a special opportunity to showcase the rich and complex visual art of Indigenous Australia to Europe, and to the world. Berlin is a renowned centre of global contemporary art practice attracting huge numbers of arts engaged visitors,’ said Gerard Vaughan, NGA Director. ‘The second half of the 20th century witnessed a revolution in Indigenous art practice, whereby the incredible paintings and sculptures of Aboriginal Australians were recognised as art rather than artefacts, and increasingly as a contemporary art movement of global significance and interest.’
Works in the exhibition will vary from traditional bark paintings to photography, multimedia and sculpture. The variety of mediums illustrates the extensive realm of Indigenous Australian art. The exhibition will feature some of the most prominent Indigenous Australian artists, including Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, Albert Namatjira, Tommy McRae, Vernon Ah Kee, Yhonnie Scarce, and many more.
This initiative is supported by the Australian Government, and will serve as a centrepiece of the Australia Now 2017 project. The program will be delivered in Germany by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a means of sharing Australian culture with international audiences.
The Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the National Gallery of Australia exhibition will run from 17 November 2017 to 2 April 2018 at the ‘Me Collectors Room’ in Berlin.