The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is showcasing artists and their works in their annual Art Market as well as a nightly light show during NAIDOC Week 2020.
Hundreds of Indigenous artists, designers, weavers and carvers from 20 art centres and communities across Australia will be displayed in the online market.
Thirty of the participating artists will also have their artworks projected onto the National Carillon, a large monument on Aspen Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin each night of NAIDOC Week from 7.45 pm to midnight, launching November 8.
Paintings, textiles, sculptures and pottery can be purchased with 100 per cent of profits going directly to the artists and their communities.
Included in the show will be the paintings and handmade jewellery of Worimi artist and Creative Director of Gillawarra Arts, Krystal Hurst.
Hurst’s prints and wearable pieces contain striking, bright colours and natural elements like emu feathers, echidna claws and seeds, drawing inspiration from memories growing up on the banks of Taree’s Manning River.
“A lot of my work features lots of memories of growing up with family and being on Country, and telling our stories,” Hurst told NIT.
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Hurst has been involved in the AIATSIS Art Market in previous years, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be the first year it’s been shown virtually.
“I’m really excited to be alongside so many other deadly artists who do amazing work again,” she said.
“I just hope we get that same support … and have people back us so we can keep doing what we do, which is sharing our art, our stories and our culture.”
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Artists from Yuendumu communities of the Warlukurlangu Art Centre in Alice Springs have been preparing for the market for months.
“This market is really our biggest market for the year. It’s a great opportunity to finish the year and it’s a very important source of income for the artists,” said Director of Warlukurlangu Art Centre, Cecilia Alfonso.
A painting by Warlpiri woman and artist Vanessa Nampijinpa Brown will be included in the market, depicting the multiple termite mounds that surround the winding roads leading to Nyirrpi (a small Warlpiri community).
“The story [in the painting] was passed down to me from my mother,” said Brown.
Many artists from the Munupi Arts Centre in the Northern Territory’s Melville Island will also be included in this year’s market.
Drawing inspiration from Tiwi creation stories and their natural environment along Melville Island’s north-western coastline at Pirlangimpi (Garden Point), many of the artists from the Munupi Art Centre use ochres to form their works.
Tiwi artist Carol Puruntatameri, whose art will be featured in the market, uses natural colours to reflect the tradition of natural pigments and tell stories about her homeland.
“I use white ochre, yellow ochre and red ochre,” she said.
“My paintings are mostly about my homeland to … tell my grandchildren stories. The one I’m working on now is about taking them hunting and after hunting, taking them swimming in Maxwell Creek.”
The dates for NAIDOC Week are November 8 – 15. This year’s theme is Always Was, Always Will Be, reinforcing the strength and resilience of First Nations Peoples to survive and thrive.
Register for the online AIATSIS Indigenous Art Market and purchase artworks in the event here: https://aiatsis.gov.au/iam.
By Grace Crivellaro