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Second National Indigenous Art Triennial opens at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Alick Tipoti, Kala Lagaw Ya people, Koedal Baydham Adhaz Parw (Crocodile Shark) mask 2010. Fibreglass, synthetic polymer paint, Cassowary feathers, feathers, raffia and seeds. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2010.

CANBERRA.- The National Gallery of Australia opened unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial a showcase of contemporary Indigenous art practice.

unDisclosed features the work of 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from regional, remote and urban communities and is curated by Carly Lane, a Kalkadoon woman from North West Queensland with a background in curatorship, anthropology and art.

The artists featured in the exhibition include: Tony Albert, Vernon Ah Kee, Bob Burruwal, Michael Cook, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Nici Cumpston, Fiona Foley, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Gunybi Ganambarr, Julie Gough, Lindsay Harris, Jonathan Jones, Danie Mellor, Naata Nungurrayi, Maria Josette Orsto, Daniel Walbidi, Christian Thompson, Alick Tipoti, Lena Yarinkura and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu.

“The artists have been selected for their commitment to excellence and their daring to explore new fields of practice and artistic vision, these artists both inform and redefine contemporary Indigenous art as we presently know it,” said Lane.

“I chose the theme unDisclosed to draw attention to the not so apparent but equally important messages often contained in Indigenous art. The exhibition explores the spoken and unspoken, the known and the unknown, what can be revealed and what cannot.”

unDisclosed celebrates the diversity of contemporary Indigenous art with painting on canvas and bark, sculpture, weaving, new media, photo-media, print-making, and installation work.

“This now permanent event in the Australian art calendar which was initiated by the National Gallery of Australia, provides a highly considered snap shot of Indigenous art practice,” said Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Franchesca Cubillo.

“unDisclosed marks the first time a guest curator has been invited to curate the National Indigenous Art Triennial. All works have been created within the past few years and selection to the exhibition is by invitation only,” she said.

The inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture Warriors, curated by then Senior Curator Brenda L Croft, gave formal recognition to Indigenous artists and their collective importance. Culture Warriors travelled around Australia and to Washington DC in 2009 to great audience and critical acclaim.

Lane says the second Triennial was an opportunity to build on the reputation of the first Triennial, to remind audiences that Indigenous art is always contemporary and that Indigenous artists continue to provide a voice and visibility for Indigenous Australians.

“As the Curator, this Triennial presented me with the freedom to focus on a stitch in time: to record a moment in Australian visual art history. I had the privilege to solely focus on what is happening among artists here and now,” said Lane.

“The National Gallery of Australia is proud to have initiated the National Indigenous Art Triennial and established it as a regular highlight of the Australian arts calendar. Our second Triennial unDisclosed presents audiences with a fresh and exciting perspective of contemporary Indigenous art in Australia,” said Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Ron Radford AM.

The National Gallery of Australia is committed to promoting the richness of contemporary Australian Indigenous art practice; both through the National Indigenous Arts Triennial and through the 11 new permanent galleries which showcase the largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the world.

“We are also proud to have the support of Wesfarmers Arts as the Gallery’s Indigenous Art Partner. Wesfarmers’ support is enabling us to present and promote the exhibition to audiences around the nation,” Radford said.

The groundbreaking partnership between the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Arts was initiated through the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship program which aims to increase Indigenous leadership within the visual arts sector and has now extended to Wesfarmers Arts becoming the Principal Partner of the National Indigenous Arts Triennial.

The inaugural Wesfarmers Arts Fellows, Jirra Harvey and Glenn Iseger have both been closely involved in the National Indigenous Art Triennial through their Fellowship projects. Applications for the 2012 Wesfarmers Arts Fellowship and Leadership Programs will open in late May 2012.

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