‘Tarnanthi’ celebrates contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

Tarnanthi is on view now in Adelaide at the Art Gallery of South Australia (and across more than 30 venues) and it features exhibitions, performances, artist forums and an art fair until 30 January 2022.

The festival artists have been selected for this major showcase as their work reinvigorates culture, AGSA Director Rhana Devenport ONZM says it is “the foremost platform for learning the rich stories embedded in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. We thank our exceptional First Nations artists for their generosity in sharing these stories and their torrent of creativity.” So it’s fitting then that the festival title, Tarnanthi (pronounced tar-nan-dee) comes from the language of the Kaurna people, it means to come forth or appear – like the sun and the first emergence of light.

still: Kaylene Whiskey, Yankunytjatjara people, South Australia, born Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Northern Territory 1976, Party Time!, 2020, Indulkana, South Australia, single channel video with sound 01:00, © Kaylene Whiskey | Iwantja Arts

If you’re in Adelaide we hope you enjoy exploring the diverse program, for others there’s the opportunity to view the exhibition virtually here. For a full line-up of the associated Tarnanthi events check out this page and see our highlights of events below.

Satellite shows around Adelaide 

We just can’t stop making – quirky fashion garments and accessories on display at JamFactory

Helen Ebatarinja modelling for Yarrenyty-Arltere fashion shoot, 2019 © Maurice Petrick/Cornelius Ebatarinja/Quincy Stevens/Dennis Brown/Desart/Yarrenyty Arltere Artists.

STAUNCH – foregrounds queerness, exposing the diversity of possibilities that reside within Aboriginal identities, on view at Nexus Arts Gallery

Kym Wanganeen, Narungga/Ngarrindjeri/Kaurna people, South Australia, born Point Pearce, South Australia 1971, died 2017, Untitled, Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, South Australia, mixed media, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 120 x 80 cm © estate of Kym Wanganeen photo: Sia Duff.

Sovereign Sisters – Domestic Work at the Flinders University Museum of Art will highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s labour histories, the intergenerational injustice of stolen wages, and questions of reparation.

WATER RITES – critically examines our relationship to water from the situation of the driest state in the driest continent on earth, in a nation deeply under the spell of extractive industries, on view at ACE Open. 

Image: Courtesy Danni Zuvela.

Family events at the Gallery 

Starting 7 November and continuing the first Sunday of the month Start at the Gallery: Make & Create encourages us to get making and creating with Tarnanthi artists and discover, draw, dance and explore our exhibitions and more.

For teenagers on 4 December the gallery hosts Neo Summer Daze which will have music, food,  live-art making from aerosol murals, and teens can join in painting with Mali Allen-Place and learn about traditional Ngarrindjeri & Ngadjuri weaving. 

Rosina Possingham and Brianna Speight

Art Gallery Talks

9 November Celia Dottore, Tarnanthi Project Officer, introduces the work of Melbourne-based artist and designer, Maree Clarke, who is a Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba, Mutti Mutti, Boonwurrung woman.

16 November Gloria Strzelecki, Associate Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, discusses Keepers of culture and introduces Ngarrindjeri, Nurungga and Ngadjuri artist Sonya Rankine who will speak about her works featured in the Gallery 1 display.

7 December Strzelecki discusses the installation by Trawlwoolway artist Julie Gough, on display as part of Tarnnathi.