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National Museum hosts major exhibition of contemporary Indigenous sculpture
Vicki West, Hella, 2009, mixed media, 26 x 19 x 58cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Australian Museum.

CANBERRA.- A major exhibition of contemporary sculptures by established and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists opened at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra and will be on display until 14 October 2012.

Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, which features the work of 33 established and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, is a collaboration between the Australian Museum and Sydney’s Object Gallery. The exhibition features a menagerie* of sculptural works depicting a variety of animals.

“Menagerie delights in its variety, its vitality and the range of styles and responses to the natural world. The love of animals is one of those universal qualities that unites all Australians and I am sure this exhibition speaks to everyone who sees it, no matter what their age or background,” said Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

Menagerie includes fibre works by Yvonne Koolmatrie from South Australia; ceramics by Judith Inkamala from the Northern Territory; wood carving by Craig Koomeeta from Queensland; mixed media assemblages by Danie Mellor and Tasmania artist Vicki West; work cast in bronze and aluminium with pearlshell inlay by Dennis Nona from the Torres Strait.

The artists are drawn from every State and Territory in Australia and were selected by curators Nicole Foreshew and Brian Parkes who sought to expose the richness and breadth of contemporary Indigenous culture in Australia.

*Menagerie: n.1. a collection of wild or strange animals, especially for exhibition. 2. A place where they are kept or exhibited.

Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture is a free exhibition on display in the First Australians Focus Gallery at the National Museum of Australia from 12 July, 2012 until 14 October, 2012.

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