Sydney’s Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre will open a significant and ambitious Indigenous exhibition next month showcasing 50 works by 50 artists from the seven art centres of the APY Lands.
This vast area of 103,000sq km is located in remote South Australia, near the tri-state border with the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and is home to some of Australia’s best known and most innovative Indigenous artists.
The exhibition, Nganampa Kililpil: Our Stars will be the first major survey exhibition from the seven centres of Tjala Arts at Amata, Ernabella Arts at Pukatja, Mimili Maku Arts at Mimili, Tjungu Palya at Nyapari, Ninuku Arts at Kalka, Kaltjiti Arts at Kaltjiti, and Iwantja Arts at Indulkana.
Belinda Hanrahan, Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery and Arts Centre director, said it was the most ambitious project to date.
“It’s a huge undertaking and we know it will bring people from not just Sydney but from regional areas of New South Wales and beyond as it is such a rare opportunity to see this spectacular work from seven major Indigenous art centres in remote central Australia,” she said.
“The works will be in our exhibition space as well as installations in other parts of the gallery and our expansive gardens.”
Artists include Dickie Minyintiri, Pepai Jangala Carroll, Tjungkara Ken, Tiger Palpatja, Wingu Tingima, Hector Burton, Nellie Stewart, Harry Tjutjuna, Jimmy Donegan, Sandy Brumby, Tjampawa Katie Kawiny, Sylvia Ken, Ngupulya Pumani and Taylor Cooper.
Nganampa Kililpil: Our Stars will also include new and commissioned works in a range of media from painting and printmaking to ceramics, fibre work and installations by senior and young and emerging artists.
The exhibition will be supported by a short documentary featuring interviews with the artists and a diverse public program.
The idea for the exhibition came about in 2014 when the five Ken Sisters from Tjala Artists – Tjungkara Ken, Yaritji Young, Freda Brady, Maringka Tunkin and Sandra Ken – produced their first collaborative painting, a work which brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous painters from across the country.
Hazelhurst Curator, Carrie Kibbler, then began the initial discussion about the survey exhibition with Tjala Arts to bring a major exhibition of artists work to Sydney, and to make it accessible for audiences outside of South Australia. As the exhibition has developed the artists have proposed and developed significant new works specifically for the project.
Ms Kibbler says: The highlights of the exhibition will be two 3 x 5m collaborative paintings featuring artists from each of the centres. It will be the first time that artists from across the APY Lands have worked together on a single painting.
The women’s collaborative, which was developed during workshops held in June, tells the Seven Sisters story and includes the work of 20 artists. The men’s collaborative painting is currently being developed in workshops with 10 of the senior artists from across the region.