Indigenous Australian masterworks exhibited at NGMA

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New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) An exhibition of over 100 artworks by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists was inaugurated in the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here on Friday.

“Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from National Gallery of Australia” is a joint venture of the NGMA and The National Gallery of Australia, and features historical and contemporary works by island continent’s aboriginal people.

The works, ranging from paintings, prints, and photographs to sculptures and installations, reveal a great diversity of artistic styles and their recent developments, NGMA Director General Adwaita Charan Garanayak said in a statement.

According to the exhibition’s curator Franchesca Cubilio, aboriginal art emanates from the iconography around sacred sites, ancestors and mythology, and also pointed out the “diversity in aesthetic and style” that these works have.

The contemporary art brings forth, and reveals around the themes of “identity, politics, racism, and people’s connection with their land”, Cubilio added.

The masterworks, dating from late 1800s to today, include paintings on canvas, as well as tree barks using natural early pigments.

“From rare, historical drawings to the dynamic Desert painting movement, to contemporary urban Aboriginal art, these works are a testament to the expertise, rich cultural knowledge and ingenuity of their creators,” NGA Director Gerard Vaughan said in a statement.

Their (aboriginals) designs, patterns and stories are reinforced and replicated through ritual, dance, song, body painting, rock engravings and paintings, and through domestic and ritual objects, he added.

The exhibition was jointly inaugurated by Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu, India’s Culture Secretary Raghavendra Singh, NGMA Director General Garanayak, and NGA Deputy Director Kristen Paisley.

Sidhu also announced that “Australia Fest”, aimed at showcasing Australian culture and creativity across India, would be held in September.

“Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from National Gallery of Australia” is open for public viewing at NGMA here from June 16-August 26.



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