Next Year’s Aboriginal Arts Festival Named

South Australia’s Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art finally got a name – Tarnanthi.

South Australia’s Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art finally got a name – Tarnanthi. The festival will debut in October 2015, with today’s announcement by Premier Jay Weatherill following the State Government’s decision last September to establish a “high-end Aboriginal art festival”. “Tarnanthi will showcase contemporary works of art created by artists from the oldest continuous living culture on earth,” Weatherill said. “The name beautifully captures both the vision of this Festival and the importance of celebrating language throughout the program.” Organisers worked with linguists from the University of Adelaide’s Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi to develop the title, a Kaurna word explained in a statement from the Art Gallery of South Australia:
“Tarnanthi (TAR-NAN-DEE), means to come forth, as in the sun and the first emergence of light, or of a seed sprouting. For cultures worldwide, first light signifies new beginnings.” A group of advisors who will assist organisers were also named today; these include Lee-Ann Tjunypa Bucksin (Carclew) and Klynton Wanganeen (Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement). On the festival’s name, Buckskin and Wanganeen explained that it will “showcase the best work being created by highly respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across the nation”. “It will challenge perceptions of what Aboriginal art is, and remind us all that this is a living culture with an art practice that is celebrated internationally,” they said. Presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia with support from the State Government and principal sponsor BHP Billiton, Tarnanthi will be presented in partnership with a range of cultural institutions around the state and will include a regional exhibition in Port Augusta.

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