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A lightness of spirit is the measure of happiness
Robert Fielding, Untitled 2018, found flour buckets, lights. Dimensions variable, installation view, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Courtesy the artist and Mimili Maku Arts, Mimili Community, South Australia. Photograph: Andrew Curtis.


MELBOURNE.- The significance of family, community and humour in contemporary Aboriginal life is celebrated in the inaugural Yalingwa exhibition, A Lightness of Sprit is the Measure of Happiness, which opened on 7 July at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

The exhibition features 10 new commissions from artists from south-east Australia and beyond, in an exploration of the everyday life and experiences of Aboriginal people today. Country music icons, queer identity, pop-culture and community leadership are referenced, as well as the legacy of ancestors and the importance of coming together to strengthen identity and connection in this new major exhibition, the first in the Yalingwa visual arts initiative.

Artists included in the exhibition

• Vicki Couzens, Gunditjmara and Keerray Woorroong artist from the Western districts of Victoria, who celebrates the custom of a cuppa and a chat, with an enormous sculpture of a teapot in a work appropriately titled Djawannacuppatea!

• Vincent Namatjira, Western Arrernte artist from Indulkana on the APY Lands, SA and great grand son of Albert, whose painting features Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin visiting his community.

• Jonathan Jones, a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of South-east Australia, who has created a tribute to the native Australian budgie. His commission includes a wall adorned with porcelain budgies of various shapes and colours, and a soundscape featuring Indigenous children singing like birds.

• Yhonnie Scarce, internationally renowned Melbourne-based artist from the Kothaka and Nunuku peoples of South Australia, who has created a homage to her ancestors offering them the gifts they deserved but never received.

A Victorian Government initiative, Yalingwa is a partnership between Creative Victoria, ACCA and TarraWarra Museum of Art, designed to support the development of outstanding contemporary Indigenous art and curatorial practice. It includes three new curatorial positions and three major exhibitions alternating between ACCA and TarraWarra, focused on new commissions by contemporary Indigenous artists.





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