First Australians Focus Gallery | Free | Until Sunday 10 November 2019
Painting on Country features works by five senior artists from Tjungu Palya art centre in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia. The artists have reinvigorated their ancestors’ practice of painting directly onto the land.
Their work, captured in a series of large-format photographs, is both timeless and transient, bridging the ancient and the contemporary.
Since Tjungu Palya opened in 2006 its artists have earned international acclaim for their spectacular desert paintings.
Painting on Country took painting out of the commercial studio environment and back to country. Some of the places chosen were Dreaming sites — the artists taking the opportunity of transmitting knowledge at the very site of the Dreaming. Each trip involved senior artists mentoring emerging artists, and grandchildren assisting their elders.
Painting on Country is innovative, demonstrating the artists’ desire to evolve, experiment with new mediums and work collaboratively. The exhibition makes artworks out of artworks, challenging perceptions about what constitutes desert painting.
Presented in partnership with Tjungu Palya and Christina and Trevor Kennedy. All photographs by Leopold Fiala.