TARNANTHI returns with Art Fair and artist John Mawurndjul

Art from more than 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art centres will go on display for viewing and purchase this October as part of the popular TARNANTHI Art Fair.

As part of the larger festival TARNANTHI: Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, the art fair has grown over the years. More than 500 artists were represented at last year’s event while this year sees 10 new art centres coming into the fold, raising the participant centres to more than 40.

The fair provides the opportunity to buy works directly from remote art centres based in the likes of the Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, the Central and Western Deserts, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands), Kimberley and the Pilbara. It is an enormously diverse offering, with work including traditional and contemporary painting, textiles, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery.

TARNANTHI Art Fair (photo: Nat Rogers)

“The Art Fair embodies the core values and vision of TARNANTHI,” says the festival’s artistic director Nici Cumpston. “This includes creating a platform for artists to share their art and culture with the world.”

One of the art centres to come on board for the first time in 2018 is Bábbarra Designs, which hails from Maningrida, where John Mawurndjul is based. While Mawurndjul is not a household name in Australia, he is recognised by many to be one of Australia’s greatest living artists, having elaborated upon and innovated traditional bark painting techniques to produce highly sought after large-scale works.

John Mawurndjul (Photo: Tristan Derátz)

The master bark painter will be represented in a retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia titled John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new.

Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute

John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new
Friday, October 26 to Monday, January 28
Art Gallery of South Australia

Header image: TARNANTHI Art Fair (photo: John Montesi)

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