NATSIAA have enriched the lives of generations of patrons and supporters by showcasing work that carries its own unique pulse and power. This work contributes to our deeper-understanding of our indigenous culture and Australian society through the sharing of art and ideas. There is no doubt the NATSIAA now have an unstoppable momentum and a global audience and Telstra is extremely proud to be involved.  -  Andy Penn, CEO Telstra

 

An innovative artist, Gunybi Ganambarr, from the remote community of Gan Gan in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory has won the overall prize - the prestigious Telstra Art Award - at the 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

 

Ganambarr’s work, Buyku, is a stunningly intricate etching on three-by-three metre aluminium board. It was selected as the overall winner at the 35th Telstra NATSIAA from more than 300 entries and 66 finalists.


The directions and flow of the forms in Buyku, although initially similar in design, are said to represent multiple grandfathers (Mari) from the one Dhalwangu clan. The arms come together to form a Buyku (fish trap) as seen in the ceremony performed by Yirritja ancestors.

The waters from Gadarrpa (Blue Mud Bay) to Gulutji come together to form a family connection.

 

The winning work was selected by an experienced judging panel assembled by the Telstra NATSIAA exhibition curator, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Terrirtory (MAGNT). The panel comprised Kelly Gellatly, Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne; Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, independent curator and art consultant; and Judith Inkamala, artist and senior member of the Hermannsburg Potters.


The judges described Buyku by Gunybi Ganambarr as a commanding and powerful work, which illustrates the artist’s deep knowledge of culture and ceremony. Ganambarr’s command of materials and processes have resulted in a work that actively engages the viewer physically, intellectually and emotionally. Buyku speaks to the coming together of the Dhalwangu clan for fish trap ceremonies and how these ceremonies unite Yolŋu. The work honours Ganambarr’s forebearers, specifically his Dhalwangu mari or grandfathers, who are represented through a weave of etched forms depicting water and fish traps. Buyku speaks to the attainment of cultural knowledge over time and the artist’s own journey, which he generously shares through his brave and exacting practice.

WINNERS

35TH TELSTRA NATSIAA WINNERS

TELSTRA ART AWARD

Gunybi Ganambarr, Yolŋu Matha, Gängan, NT, Buyku, etching on alunimium board, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

 

JUDGES COMMENTS: 

Buyku by Gunybi Ganambarr is a commanding and powerful work which illustrates the artist’s deep knowledge of culture and ceremony. Ganambarr’s command of materials and processes have resulted in a work that actively engages the viewer physically, intellectually and emotionally. Buyku speaks to the coming together of the Dhalwangu clan for fish trap ceremonies and how these ceremonies unite Yolngu. The work honours Ganambarr’s forebears, specifically his Dhalwangu mari or grandfathers, who are represented through a weave of etched forms depicting water and fish traps. Buyku speaks to the attainment of cultural knowledge over time, and the artist’s own journey, which he generously shares through his brave and exacting practice.’

TELSTRA BARK PAINTING AWARD

Napuwarri Marawili, Yolŋu Matha, Yilpara, NT, Baraltja Dugong Yathikpa, natural pigments on Stringybark, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

JUDGES COMMENTS:

‘This grand bark by Napuwarri Marawili shares important knowledge around hunting, respect of sacred places and the enactment of lore and custom. The bark’s lively and active surface physically mirrors the cautionary narrative of the work; this painting of treacherous water feels dangerous. The work displays a singular confidence which reflects the bringing together of Marawili’s cultural knowledge and consummate skill as a painter.’

TELSTRA GENERAL PAINTING AWARD

Peter Mungkuri, Yankunytjatjara, Indulkana, SA, Ngura (Country), ink and synthetic polymer paint on linen, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

JUDGES COMMENTS:

Peter Mungkuri’s Ngura is a quiet, poetic and painterly work which both encourages and rewards sustained viewing. Mungkuri’s deep knowledge of Country is shared confidently, yet with a restraint that demands a deliberate slowing of pace. The work’s composition, with its multiple perspectives and shifting pictorial planes, leads the viewer through passages of time and space which speak of the artist’s experience of ngura, his custodial inheritance, and his responsibilities to care for his homeland.’

TELSTRA WORKS ON PAPER AWARD

Kathy Inkamala, Western Aranda, Mparntwe (Alice Springs), NT, Mount Gillen, Western MacDonnell Ranges, pigment ink and gouache on Arches 300gsm cold-press paper, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

 

 

JUDGES COMMENTS:

‘Kathy Inkamala’s Mount Gillen, Western MacDonnell Ranges elegantly captures the mood and personality of the landscape she knows so well; its topography and rugged, undulating forms, and the way in which its colour changes and responds to light at different times of the day. The artist’s fine draughtsmanship, attention to detail and the intimate scale of the work conveys her deep connection to and knowledge of Country and her awe of and respect for this commanding landscape.’

WANDJUK MARIKA MEMORIAL 3D AWARD (SPONSORED BY TELSTRA)

Wukun Wanambi, Yolŋu matha, Yirrkala, NT, Destiny, earth pigments on natural pigments on Stringybark pole and video, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

JUDGES COMMENTS:

Destiny by Wukun Wanambi embodies belonging. This commanding work exemplifies Wanambi’s signature approach to creating elegant larrakitj, which retain the unique qualities of their unworked natural forms. The larrakitj, evocative soundtrack and animation of small fish circling between the poles, speak to finding our place in the world, and to Wanambi’s ongoing experimentation into ways of sharing Yolngu culture.’

TELSTRA EMERGING ARTIST AWARD

Matthew Dhamuliya Gurruwiwi, Galpu, Warruwi, NT, Banumbirr (Morning Star Poles), natural pigments, feathers, bush string, bush wax and Milkwood, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

 

JUDGES COMMENTS:

‘Matthew Gurruwiwi’s Banumbirr are a powerful embodiment of the continuation of cultural practice but equally, of the ability of younger artists to find their own ways to innovate and reimagine within their inheritance. While honouring the significance of Banumbirr as a creator ancestor, through these works, Guruwiwi brings a sense of individuality, presence and joyful exuberance. Guruwiwi's Banumbirr has brought with it something new and exciting to an honoured tradition.’

TELSTRA MULTIMEDIA AWARD

Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr, Dhuwal, Yirrkala, NT, Dhunupa'kum nhuna wanda (Straightening your mind), film, 2018,Video duration: 1.33 minutes. 2018 Telstra Multimedia Award Winner, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

JUDGES COMMENTS:

Dhunupa’kum nhuna wanda (Straightening your mind) by Patrina Layidurrkitj Mununggurr powerfully conveys the great importance of ceremony for Yolngu people. Simple in its cinematography and choreography, the works focuses on ritual, human movement and the beauty of gapan. Straightening your mind embodies the continuance of cultural tradition for the artist and her community, while attesting to the capacity of younger generations to adapt tradition and ceremony into new forms of storytelling and experience for audiences. The artist’s unwavering gaze invites the viewer into this realm whilst clearly defining the rules of engagement. We are left in no doubt as to the powerful inheritance and importance of ceremony across the generations.’

TELSTRA PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD

Freda Brady, Maringka Tunkin, Sandra Ken and Tjungkara Ken and Yaritji Young, Pitjantjatjara, Amata, SA, Seven Sisters, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 35th Telstra NATSIAA

MAGNT CURATOR ABORIGINAL ART, LUKE SCHOLES, COMMENTS:

‘The Telstra People’s Choice Awards always reveals a work that touches our audience in a very special way. Seven Sisters by the Ken Sisters is epic in scale and composition. Its bombast of colour is highly emotive and contributes to the dramatic story it tries to encapsulate. Audience members have commented on how the subtle figurative elements in this painting beautifully combine with its strong iconography. It is a deserving winner of this Award and the success of this collaboration is testament to the talent, kinship and country these strong women share.’

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WINNING WORKS

Gunybi Ganambarr, Buyku, etching on aluminium board, 2018. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Napuwarri Marawili, Baraltja Dugong Yathikpa, natural pigments on Stringybark, 2017. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Peter Mungkuri, Ngura (Country), ink and synthetic polymer paint on linen, 2018. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Kathy Inkamala, Mount Gillen, Western MacDonnell Ranges, pigment ink and gouache on Arches 300gsm cold-press paper, 2018. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Wukun Wanambi, Destiny, natural pigments on Stringybark pole and video, 2018. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Matthew Dhamuliya Gurruwiwi, Banumbirr (Morning Star Poles), natural pigments, feathers, bush string, bush wax and Milkwood. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr, Dhuwal, Yirrkala, NT, Dhunupa'kum nhuna wanda (Straightening your mind), film, 2018. 35th Telstra NATSIAA.
Freda Brady, Maringka Tunkin, Sandra Ken and Tjungkara Ken and Yaritji Young, Pitjantjatjara, Amata, SA, Seven Sisters, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 35th Telstra NATSIAA
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SPONSORS

 

Telstra have been the principal sponsor for 27 years. NATSIAA is also supported by the Northern Territory Government and the Australia Council for the Arts, as part of its Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy.

CONTACT

Museum and Art Gallery of
the Northern Territory

GPO Box 4646, Darwin NT 0801

+61 8 8999 8264

info@magnt.net.au
MAGNT acknowledges the traditional owners of country across the Northern Territory and beyond, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
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