Aboriginal Art Fair and Art Award 08
On Wednesday the 13th of August I am heading to Darwin, which is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, for the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair as well as the 25th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. The Australian Aboriginal Art movement is undoubtedly one of the most important artistic movements to have ever existed and is currently worth an estimated AUS$100 million dollars annually which makes these two events all the more exciting.
For those of you who are not Australian, the City of Darwin is located in the top end of the Northern Territory and is bounded by the Beagle Gulf (the Timor Sea) in the north and the west. The Northern Territory is Australia’s real outback and, because of the remoteness and rurality of much of it’s land, has allowed many of the Aboriginal inhabitants to live a more traditional lifestyle. A majority of the Aboriginal artists whose work you see for sale and in museums and galleries reside in the Northern Territory making this part of Australia the centre for Aboriginal art.
The Darwin Art Fair will take place on the 14th to 16th of August and is Organised by Maningrida Arts and Culture (http://www.maningrida.com) and only presents Indigenous art produced through Community based Arts Centres. According to the Darwin Art Fair website (http://www.darwinaboriginalartfair.com.au/index.php), “Nineteen arts centres from Arnhem Land, Kimberley Region, Central Australia and Torres Strait Islands will present a wide range of artists and art forms, offering a unique opportunity to discover and enjoy the diversity of styles and artistic expressions present in these regions. Paintings on canvas, bark paintings, timber and metal sculptures, limited edition prints, didjeridus, fibre art and jewelry will be on display at the Fair.”
The Telstra Aborginal Art Award, which I will also be attending, is put on by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and begins on Friday the 15th of August with a big party where the winners of the prizes for the four different categories are announced. The categories are:
* the Telstra General Painting Award
* the Telstra Bark Painting Award
* the Telstra Work on Paper Award
* the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award (sponsored by Telstra)
According to the website of the Telstra Art Award, “the Award was established in 1984 as the National Aboriginal Art Award by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The aim of the Award is to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists and to promote appreciation and understanding of the quality and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from regional and urban based Indigenous artists throughout Australia, working in traditional and contemporary media. The Award attracts a range of Indigenous artists from all parts of the country and around 100 works are selected each year from up to 400 entries. The diversity and style of work submitted each year reflects the changing face of contemporary Aboriginal art practice. The non-acquisitive Telstra Award of $40,000 is awarded to the work considered by judges to be the most outstanding work in the exhibition. Additional prizes of $4,000 each are awarded in four media categories.
For more information visit the sites below:
Info on the Northern Territory
Info on Telstra Aboriginal Art Award:
Info on the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair:
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications