Trudy Inkamala, Roxanne Petrick, Dulcie Raggett, Marlene Rubuntja, Rosabella Ryder, Dulcie Sharpe, Rhonda Sharpe, Roxanne Sharpe, Valerie Stafford, Every face has a story, every story has a face: Kulila!, 2016, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, soft sculpture, mixed media, dyed blankets, polyester wadding, embroidery thread, twigs, 228.0 x 120.0 x 100.0 cm (overall); Acquisition through TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
supported by BHP 2017, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. © Yarrenyty Arltere Artists. Photo by Saul Steed.

Indigenous artists will travel from Australia’s most north-easterly point in the Torres Strait and from its far south in Tasmania for the country’s biggest celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture next month.

The Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art in Adelaide will feature more than 1000 artists at exhibitions and events across the city from October 13-22.

Some of the highlights will include a three-day art fair on October 13-5 and a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia, which will run until January 28.

Award-winning journalist and Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man Stan Grant will open the festival on October 12. About 400 artists are expected in Adelaide for the opening weekend.

“Tarnanthi’s role is to give a voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists’ way of thinking and being in this world by presenting works of art through their voices,” festival artistic director Nici Cumpston said.

Artwork will range from painting to photography, performance art, sculpture, installation and moving image and design. Independent artists and collectives from across Australia will take part.

Artists from Erub Arts in the Torres Strait will represent the country’s most north-easterly point with an installation of marine-themed sculptures made from ghost nets.

From Tasmania, artist Ricky Maynard will present a photographic series titled Saddened Were the Hearts of Many Men.

Reko Rennie will present a video work in which he drives a camouflage, over-painted gold 1973 Rolls-Royce Corniche through Kamilaroi country in New South Wales, with an accompanying score by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

A series of bark paintings by Nonggirrnga Marawili from Yirrkala in Arnhem Land will be among 50 new commissions unveiled at the festival.

All proceeds will go to the artists and art communities.

For full program details including exhibitions, artists talks, performances, art fair and events, visit