The 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial titled ‘Ceremony’ has opened this weekend in Canberra at the National Gallery of Australia with the exhibition itself open to the public as well as performances, film, talks, workshops, and live music on offer. The theme of the triennial highlights how ceremony is at the core of many artistic practices, as well as at the nexus of Country, of culture and of community.
Participating artists include; Robert Andrew, Joel Bray, Kunmanara Carroll, Penny Evans, Robert Fielding, Nicole Foreshew, Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy, Dr Matilda House and Paul Girrawah House Ngambri, Hayley Millar Baker, Mantua Nangala, S.J Norman, Dylan River, Darrell Sibosado, Andrew Snelgar, Joel Spring, James Tylor, the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, the Tangentyere Artists and Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu.
Ceremony is many things, it has ties to tradition, the act of performing, significance to an inner world as well as collective experience and is something deliberate and enacted, it is evidence of an active way of being; or as they gallery says ‘the artist’s conscious engagement with what has come before’.
Over the weekend, among many special events, Hayley Millar Baker premieres her film ‘Nyctinasty’, alongside this there will be performance by SJ Norman in Bone Library and the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists are offering a soft sculpture making class.
Artists included in the exhibition are profiled online with the NGA’s first ‘digital exhibition publication’ that features enriching text, video and imagery of their creative practices. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear direct from the artist about what drives them and their work; the publication is beautifully designed to offer an immersive experience of not only the artwork but the personality of the artists, a rare opportunity!
Curator, Hetti Perkins says that Ceremony is ‘testament that our culture has survived – not only over the many thousands of years but, particularly, the last couple of hundred years – because of its capacity for innovation and adaptability.’
The exhibition is on view until 31 July.