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Tjukurpa Stories - TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art


Exhibition dates October 6 - October 29

Exhibition Opening Wednesday October 11 at 6pm

Opening Speaker and artist talk Helen Johnson

Supported by TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia in partnership with BHP and with support of the Government of South Australia.

Curated by Helen Johnson with local Aboriginal artists from the Fleurieu Peninsula, Ngarrindjeri and Ramindjeri peoples and artists of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of South Australia and the Central Desert.

The theme of Tjukurpa is fundamental to Aboriginal culture. Stories tie people to land, place and ancestors, they provide a way of passing on knowledge of lore, culture, ancestry, land, totemic sites, hunting and gathering, flora and fauna.

Contemporary Indigenous artists will exhibit new work that is both vibrant and unique and visually breathtaking. A rare chance to learn something of Aboriginal culture through this vital art form. Including original paintings, weaving and ceramics.

Tjukurpa-Story is an exhibition celebrating the Aboriginal culture of story and connection to land. Curated by Helen Johnson the owner of Kiri Kiri Art in Victor Harbor. After studying Fine Art in Brisbane Helen was appointed Art Centre Manager for Iwantja Arts Aboriginal Corporation working with the traditional owners of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of South Australia in the Central Desert.

“I was Art Centre Manager at Iwantja Arts form more than seven years and was privileged to become part of a fantastic, vibrant, energetic and successful Art Centre”.

Kiri Kiri Art sources artwork ethically directly from art centres such as Papunya, Mimili, Kaltjiti, Tjungu Palya, Tjala, Hermannsburg, Warlukurlangu, including of course Iwantja.

The artists on show are some of the most prestigious established and emerging Aboriginal artists of Australia including local Ngarrindjeri and Ramindjeri artists also represented.

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Tjariya Stanley - photogrpah by Alex Craig

Tarnanthi, pronounced tar-nan-dee, is a Kaurna word from the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains. It means to come forth or appear – like the sun and the first emergence of light. For many cultures, first light signifies new beginnings.

Building on the popular and critical success of the 2015 Festival, TARNANTHI returns in 2017, presenting the art of Australia’s oldest living culture on an unprecedented scale. A platform for artists from across the country to share important stories, TARNANTHI sheds new light on contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

The Festival’s artistic vision encourages new beginnings by providing artists with opportunities to create significant new work. TARNANTHI works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to extend the practices they have been developing in studios, art centres, institutions and communities.

TARNANTHI is led by Artistic Director Nici Cumpston. Of Afghan, English, Irish and Barkindji Aboriginal heritage, Nici is a descendant of the Darling River people of northern NSW and culturally affiliated with the River Murray people around Berri in the South Australian Riverland. She is also the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, the Gallery’s first Aboriginal curator, and in 2014 she was appointed as Artistic Director of TARNANTHI. Nici’s career has been characterised by working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to bring new work and new ways of seeing to broad audiences.

TARNANTHI includes a series of exhibitions, artist talks, performances and events, presented in partnership with key cultural institutions across South Australia. At its heart is an ambitious exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the TARNANTHI Art Fair.

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Earlier Event: September 15
Craft Anonymous
Later Event: October 9
Celebrating 50 Years