Created by world renowned photographer Russell James, NOMAD TWO WORLDS
is a collaborative art project with Indigenous artists. In the last decade it has evolved from James' individual attempt to understand the clash of ancient and modern cultures he witnessed growing up in Australia to what it is today - a powerful expression of partnership and reconciliation in action through art, music and film that has become a global example of true collaboration across deep cultural divides.
From its humble beginnings as a photographic and film exhibition in New York in 1999, NOMAD TWO WORLDS endured the years leading up to the global event known in the political narrative simply as "The Apology", the 2008 public apology made to Indigenous Australians by the then Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
In celebration of this historic event, James enlisted people from the Australian Indigenous communities to join forces with the likes of will i am, Hugh Jackman, Donna Karan and many others to create and present the first NOMAD TWO WORLDS Collaborative Art Opening in New York City in 2009. The event was a blend of art, music, film, education and community outreach that received extraordinary global media attention.
Developing NOMAD TWO WORLDS has involved a decade of groundwork, including travel to remote regions of northern Western Australia with senior Indigenous custodians who have provided access to sites of great cultural significance to the Aboriginal people of that region. Burial grounds, gorges, stunning coastlines and desert locations, often restricted and secret, were allowed to be photographed and ﬁlmed by James in the spirit of meaningful reconciliation. Some of the worlds most beautiful and interesting people - Heidi Klum, Sir Richard Branson, The Black Eyed Peas, Adriana Lima, Miranda Kerr and more - also agreed to be photographed for the collaborations.
The photographs are reproduced as giant art canvases for Indigenous artists such as Clifton Bieundurry to paint "story" into the images; legends and concepts that relate directly to the thematic intent of the images on the photographic canvases. The result, an unprecedented artistic collaboration of hand embellished art photographs, form the heart of a NOMAD TWO WORLDS installation. The ABC Documentary released in 2011 'Becoming Jangala' is a detailed look back at the creation of NOMAD TWO WORLDS and the special bond between Bieundurry and James and can be viewed on this site.
In February 2011, NOMAD TWO WORLDS premiered its first collaborations with the Native American art community, as well as a special collection of Haitian collaborations done in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative and Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation.