Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award
Exhibition opening: Saturday 8 July, from 2pm; to be opened by Joe De Luca, CEO, Multicultural Council of the NT Inc.
Runs daily 9am-5pm until Sunday 6 August
Offsite venue: Darwin Entertainment Centre Gallery, 93 Mitchell St, Darwin City
Fresh from its debut showing in Alice Springs and at its new host venue, the Araluen Arts Centre, (8 April - 12 June 2017), the NT's much-beloved annual Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award returns to Darwin with its impressive 2017 field of entrants, 33 in total. Since its inception in 1999, the award has captured the imagination of Territorian artists of all ages and stages of practice, just as the subjects have come from all walks of life. It remains the only portrait award exhibition in the country to put a spotlight on seniors which resonates with the culturally embedded notion of 'elder' in the Territory.
Artists: Dennis Bezzant, Julia Broad, Iain Campbell, Rita Cattoni, Deborah Clarke, Esther Copier, Janelle Fisher, Marianne Foster, Anni Fritz, David Gardner, Stuart Gluth, Matthew Grant, Melanie Gunner, Heather Hupalo, Trevor Jenkins, Apples Kemp, Blake Kendall & MK Turner, Baz Ledwidge, John Lewis, Angus McIvor, Jesse Milne, Jan Milner, Dan Murphy, James Nasir, David Nicholls, Natasha Perkins, Penca Rafiqi, Carol Randall, Henry Smith, Kellie Sobieralski, Al Strangeways, Jennifer Taylor, Garifalitsa Maria Zaimakis
Judges: Marlene Rubuntja, Artist, Alice Springs; Russel Goldflam, Lawyer, Alice Springs; Therese Ritchie, Artist, Darwin
Congratulations to all winning and commended artists (detailed opp.); the People's Choice Award winner will be determined at the end of the exhibition's Darwin season.
Congratulations to this year's winners:
Acquisition Award: Henry Smith, 'Craig San Roque', 2017;
Second Prize: Jennifer Taylor, 'Agnes Abbott shows where she ran away home from Arltunga Mission', 2015;
Third Prize: Angus McIvor, 'David Hewitt', 2017;
Highly Commended: 'Iain Campbell, In search of lost artworks', 2016;
Janelle Fisher, 'Pam Merington-Norman', 2017;
Blake Kendall and Margaret Kemarre Turner, 'Kemarre Apmere', 2014-2017
Opening night, Friday 23 June, from 5pm
Punuku Tjukurpa is a nationally touring exhibition comprising around 80 mainly wooden objects (punu) made by artists from Maruku Arts, an art centre based at the Aboriginal community of Mutitjulu, near Uluru in the Central Desert. Representing the work of 11 Anangu artists, the wooden objects include carvings of various animals, piti (carved bowls), tjara (shields), miru (spearthrowers), kali (boomerangs), tjutinya (clubs), and walka boards. The works are made recently as well as drawing on Maruku’s archive (dating from the mid-1980s) which also includes photography, film and signage that also features in the exhibition. The exhibition intends overall to cultivate a deeper appreciation of punu, and a deeper appreciation of its relationship to Tjukurpa (Dreaming, Law), i.e., that while some objects may be functional (as in bowls and shields), they can also express ceremonial and sacred dimensions.
Punuku Tjukurpa is curated by Steve Fox and presented in association with Maruku Arts (Maruku@Uluru). Steve Fox is an ex-Director of NCCA (then 24hr Art) and also ex-Director of Maruku Arts (1997-2006) during which time he helped to establish the careers of the exhibition’s artists. He previously curated a major exhibition of work by Maruku artists at Gallerie Handwerk, Munich (Germany).
Maruku Arts was established in 1984, initially an extension of Amata Arts and Crafts. From the outset it focused on making punu, with work initially coming from Amata, Uluru, Docker River, Wingellina, Pipalyatjara, Indulkana, Mimili, Fregon and Ernabella. Over time other communities found representation through Maruku. Today it represents around 900 Anangu artists from over 20 remote communities across the Central and Western deserts.
Punuku Tjukurpa is a Visions of Australia touring exhibition from Artback NT: Arts Development and Touring in conjunction with the Australia Council for the Arts and Northern Territory Department of Tourism & Culture.
Niningka Lewis, Teapot, 2013, Itara: River red gum and acrylic paint, 27 x 12 x 9cm; image courtesy the artist, Maruku Arts and Artback NT.
punu: anything made of wood, especially artefacts and implements, also living/growing tree or bush or a piece of wood, stick, cut-off branches
-ku: case ending; indicates the owner or rightful user of something, the custodian or caretaker
Tjukurpa: story, Dreaming, Law
In the artist's words, 'Australia, long before it had that name is designed to take the viewer on a journey along the painted make-believe landscape, based on the country some of us now live in and others have been in for a long time. It will start at the beginning of time and by the inclusion of certain evidence of humans, animals, and plants, it will bring the viewer up to relatively recent times.'
Katherine Bradley is a Darwin-based artist with a landscape painting-based practice which dates from the late 1980s when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the South Australian College of Advanced Education. Katherine has held numerous solo exhibitions around Australia beginning with Shelter in an Australian landscape (1995, Geraldton Regional Gallery) and, most recently, Australia, before it had that name (Series 1) (2014, Framed Gallery, Darwin) which laid the foundation for her current exhibition to occupy NCCA's Screenroom as a 30-plus-metre frieze. Also strongly informing the exhibition is a 2016 residency at Territory Wildlife Park which enabled the artist to closely study local flora and fauna and seasonal changes (across 6 Top End seasons).
Katherine also holds a Master of Fine Arts (1992, University of Tasmania) and she is a previous finalist in the Togart Award (2013).
Jason Rao Sellaiah
Gallery 2 + Boxset
Jason Sellaiah is an artist originally from Malaysia and now resident in Wadeye (Port Keats), NT. His main medium is sculpture, often in stone and wood though he works across a variety of mediums. Jason spent time in New Zealand after first leaving Malaysia. It was in New Zealand that he learnt carving techniques for sculpture. Ancestry is Jason's first solo exhibition in a public contemporary art space; it follows on from his representation in Artmart 2016 (also at NCCA). The exhibition relates to the passing of Jason's father in 2016 (on the same day as David Bowie). Dealing with such a profound loss becomes the artist's trigger to explore the ancestral theme: 'attachment, kinship, creation, genomes, and respect (for) and honour of the dead.'
image courtesy the artist
Karina Coombes & Joanne Nasir
Golden Years commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum through the work of two Indigenous women artists: Karina Coombes (Pirlangimpi, Melville Island) and Joanne Nasir (Darwin). 'Golden' also evokes their shared ochre palette as painters and the sense of 'old' and recent work, particularly with the selection of Joanne's paintings which span a much longer art career. The seed for this exhibition was born at the 2016 NT Expo where Karina and Joanne were displaying their work at nearby, separate stalls, their parallel interests in bold and innovative composition apparent. While their work does not directly address the 1967 Referendum, it shares its central themes of social justice and self-determination. Joanne's work has, for example, focused on histories of incarceration and forced removal in commemorating the 100th anniversary of Kahlin Compound in 2013. Both artists celebrate their particular Indigenous cosmologies and continue to give it new and original form.
Joanne Nasir (b. 1961) has been making art in earnest since the mid-1980s. She is primarily a painter who has also worked across a range of graphic and textile design mediums. She has family affiliations across the NT: Garrawa (Borroloola), and Djugan/Yawuru (Broome), and with connections to the Tiwi Islands as a descendant of the Stolen Generations. Joanne set up her first design company Yurra Yiminga (Two Suns) in the late 1980s and saw success at the International Textile Trade Expo (Darling Harbour, Sydney) and the first Northern Territory Aboriginal Trades Expo. Joanne has held 6 solo exhibitions (in Broome, Darwin, and Sydney) and been involved in group exhibitions throughout Australia and internationally. She has been awarded numerous design commissions (for eg., Careflight's recent Reconcilation Action Plan) through her business Joanne Nasir Art and Design. Joanne also works a a senior trainer for Tanyah Nasir Consulting Service. Joanne cites close friend and mentor fellow Aboriginal artist Harold Thomas as a key influence along with fellow artists Jimmy Pike, Bronwyn Bancroft, Lin Onus, Trevor Nichols, Brenda Croft and (the late) Shane Pickett.
Karina Coombes (b. 1982) is a Tiwi artist from Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) on Melville Island who works through Munupi Arts. Her artistic career began in 2010 under the direction of her grandfather, the late Justin Puruntatameri, a revered artist and ceremonial leader whose own remarkable career as a painter was also then beginning in his late eighties. The Yirrikipayi (Crocodile) is a strong feature of Karina’s work which includes paintings of other animals such as her totems Jarrikalani (Turtle), and Takaringa (Mullet). Karina also paints the night sky as it appears over the Tiwi Islands.
Joanne Nasir, 'Kahlin 100 years on', 2013, acrylic on linen; image courtesy the artist
Opening night: Thursday 6 April, from 6pm
Our annual Artmart exhibition is back, offering one last deluge of mostly local/NT talent before the dry season sets in. Artmart began in 2015 as a way of drawing attention to Parap as an art gallery hub, with the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art joined by fellow Parap-based Nomad and Outstation galleries to form the Parap Galleries identity: parapgalleries.com. The ‘mart’ in Artmart embraces our location amidst the well-known Parap Market and promotes the idea of contemporary art as accessible and affordable. We want local talent to be supported by local patronage, and we want this mostly local talent to show alongside the work of their fellow NT, national and international peers.
Participating artists: Matilda Alegria, Kath Borrow, Eric Bridgeman, Bill Davies, Dana Duncan, Stephanie Henry, italk Studios, Heather Koowootha, Roy McIvor, James Nasir, Joel Ngallametta, Lindy Brodie Nungarrayi, Tiffany Okazaki, Susie Peterson, May Rosas & John Waller
Public Programs (@NCCA)
Artist talks: Saturday 8 April, from 11am
Australian Cultural Fund workshops: Saturday 22 April, 12-1.30pm (general); from 2pm for individual appointments
To register for one-on-one appointments, please contact NCCA
Saturdays in the Wet
Saturdays in the Wet was NCCA’s offering during our 1-month ‘shutdown’ period, with the gallery open on Saturdays to coincide with Parap Market, and with work showing in Gallery 1 and the Boxset (31 Dec 2016 – 28 Jan 2017).
Gallery 1 included Amina McConvell’s wall painting/mural: Exploded Stuff - The Meaning Attributed to Identity is Fleeting (For Sadat Laope); a selection of paintings by senior Tennant Creek artist Susannah Nelson, and ABC journalist Conor Byrne’s SS Opposition boat made from campaign placards. The Boxset was graced by Mandala series 1, a suite of six paintings by Darwin-based artist Daniel Coloe.
Conor Byrne is producer/presenter for breakfast/morning shows at ABC Radio Darwin (105.7). He is a graduate in journalism (Masters) from the Dublin Institute of Technology, and a graduate in technology (wood science, wood products/pulp and paper technology) from the University of Limerick; Daniel Coloe is a largely self-taught artist from Melbourne who is currently based in Darwin. He is primarily a painter and has also worked as a tattoo artist; Amina McConvell is an early-career Darwin-based artist with an experimental, research-based practice often expressed through large-scale sculptural installations which combine mural painting with drawing and sculpture. More recent examples have also included sound and light as with her 2015 solo exhibition Colour Masses in the Fourth Dimension at Tactile Arts, Darwin (sound collaboration with Mats Undén). Susannah Nelson, also known as Susannah Nelson Nakamarra, is a senior Warramangu and Warlmanpa artist from Tennant Creek. She is one of the more prolific painters in recent years to emerge out of the visual arts centre/program through Barkly Regional Arts (BRA).
Susannah Nelson, also known as Susannah Nelson Nakamarra, is a senior Warramangu and Warlmanpa artist from Tennant Creek. She is one of the more prolific painters in recent years to emerge out of the visual arts centre/program through Barkly Regional Arts, often producing works which interpret Biblical episodes such as the Ascension of Jesus or the worship of the Golden Calf and which are distinguished by great economy of form and colour vibrancy.
Susannah's charming Christmas Party painting appears to takes a more secular approach to the subject, imagining a feast at school, with schoolchildren seated round a food-laden table and Santa making an appearance with present in tow. Christmas Party showed in NCCA's Boxset over Christmas (22 to 30 Dec) followed by a small selection of other recent paintings by Susannah in Gallery 1 as part of NCCA's program of Saturdays in the Wet (31 Dec 2016 - Jan 2017).
The Curtain Breathed Deeply presents an immersive collection of video and sculptural work by artist Justene Williams. Her largest and most ambitious undertaking to date, Williams uses found objects and waste materials to create dazzling theatrical environments, seducing visitors through a variety of hypnotising sets and performative video installations.
The Curtain Breathed Deeply was curated and developed by Artspace and is touring nationally in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW.
The generous bequest of the Catalyst: Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission has enabled Artspace to support Justene Williams in the development of this major new work at a pivotal moment in her career. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
CSC Advanced Photography
Direct from the Advanced Photography course at Casuarina Secondary College’s adult education program comes this one-week exhibition comprising a selection of the students’ best and/or favourite work. The course is led by Jason Good (of Jason Good Photography) who takes the students through the finer points of photographic technique – composition, post-production, etc. Each student is exhibiting for the first time.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 NCCA Members’ Show, Peer Review!
Simon Cooper won a years’ subscription to Artlink Magazine for his cryptic triptych.
David Hancock won $500 worth of freight with COPE Sensitive Freight for his photographic portrait of Therese Ritchie.
Rosemaree Jane Ludlow won a trip to Sydney to see The National: New Australian Art for her intimate self-portrait.
And last but not least Andy Ewing won a two-month artist/curator opportunity with the City of Darwin Public Art Platform Program for his 16-piece portrait of the glamorous Sianne Tate.
Thanks to all the artists who submitted works, and thanks to all our members for your support over the last year. Thanks also to judges Sahn Cramer and Carmen Ansaldo.
This year’s Member’s show is bent on portraiture but not just any portraiture. As the ‘Peer Review’ title suggests, the focus is on artists portraying each other. The idea comes from the annual Blunt Edge Portraiture Award in Cairns which began as a way of bringing the arts community together, particularly where an artist is asked to portray a fellow artist they have yet to meet.
Artists chose their portrait subjects by way of a ballot or free choice.
PRIZE A: One Year Subscription to Artlink
Artlink is a quarterly themed magazine covering contemporary art and ideas from Australia and the Asia-Pacific.Special thanks to Artlink’s Executive Editor Eve Sullivan for offering a one year subscription to Artlink.
PRIZE B: $500 Freight with COPE Sensitive
COPE Sensitive are our preferred freight company, transporting artwork for us to and from all over the country. We couldn’t do what we do without them! COPE are also longstanding supporters of our Members’ Shows and this year is no exception with a generous donation of $500 complimentary freight to a winning artist. Planning a show interstate? COPE has you covered!
PRIZE C: Flights to Sydney for The National: New Australian Art
The national is a new initiative between three of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions - the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Over the next 6 years, these institutions with partner for The National: New Australian Art, a survey of the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art. Our very own Karen Mills has been selected as one of the first nine artists to exhibit their work in The National 2017 (30 March-18 June 2017), and we are flying one of our winning artists to see the show!
PRIZE D: Two Month Artist/Curator Opportunity with the City of Darwin Public Art Platform Program
One of the three new commissioning models of the City of Darwin’s Public Art Pilot Plan is their Public Art Platform program. This involves commissioning local curators to program public art platforms throughout the city. These platforms may include LED screens, free standing light boxes, display cases and other varied infrastructure for the presentation of and engagement with contemporary art. The platforms will be curated through an expression of interest process and artists are encouraged to be edgy, forward thinking and to provoke discussion.
The City of Darwin is offering the winning artist the opportunity to present their own work or curate a two month program for the Public Art Platform program, with a budget of $5000 to make it happen! This is an exciting opportunity and NCCA is proud to partner with the City of Darwin in bringing this opportunity to a winning PEER REVIEW artist.
Sahn has worked in the arts for more than 26 years having started out as a fledgling young artist in Sydney studying at the National Art School in Darlinghurst in the early 90’s before heading to Tasmania where she completed her Fine Arts Degree. Over the years she moved into arts management, was Director of the Carnegie Gallery in Hobart, she managed the City of Hobart national art prize, before becoming a public art manager. She has worked across the country in various roles including time as a consultant in Cape York in re-establishing the Western Cape Cultural Centre before coming to Darwin. As a practising artist she understands the creative process, as an arts manager she understands the demands and opportunities for artists and with this knowledge she is currently working with the City of Darwin to support and enable the contribution artists make to the cultural life of this City.
Carmen Ansaldo is an art writer and activist from Brisbane who has been based in Darwin since the middle of this year. Her published works span the last decade and have been featured in local, national and international online and print publications. She has graduated in Fine Art (Painting) from the Queensland College of Art, receiving the Gertrude Langer Prize for Contribution to the Arts and Griffith University Award for Academic Excellence. She is also an honours graduate in Art History from the Queensland College of Art, receiving the UMAP scholarship to study at the State University of New York, Long Island to further investigate her thesis focusing on the intersection between contemporary art and protest movements.
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The Northern Centre for Contemporary Art is nestled in the heart of the Darwin suburb of Parap, home to vibrant local resident Paula Roberts. Roberts approached NCCA with the idea of presenting a selection of recent paintings of landscapes drawing on her mother's country (Roper River, Southeast Arnhem Land) and her father's country (Mataranka). The resulting selection focuses on the diverse life of the wetlands, particularly the waterlily which is Paula's mother's Dreaming. 'I want the work to give recognition to my mother', says Paula.
In her own unique fashion Roberts transformed the gallery frontage into a makeshift residency space, painting away over the period of several months, even setting up an ad hoc community art space in Vimy Lane for her friends and family. Roberts's vivid and celebratory style translates clearly through her painting, which is on display in the NCCA Boxset window, overlooking Vimy Lane.
Paula Roberts is an artist from Ngukurr who also calls the famous Elsey Station at Mataranka home. 'Ngarla Walili' is Paula's Aboriginal name in Mangarrayi language. Paula's mother, Betty Roberts, is one of the Joshua sisters of whom several have become well-known artists including the late Gertie Huddlestone and Angelina George. Paula's paintings generally celebrate country, the rich colours and flora/fauna of the Top End, often in a picturesque figurative style but also sometimes with a level of semi-abstraction. Paula has previously painted through Ngukurr Arts.
Headshots is a installation which features an array of ceramic balloon-like heads and light projections. The balloon-heads are inspired by the artist’s recent visit to this home country of the Philippines, where a new craze had sprung up consisting of giant brightly coloured inflatable toys. Vendors lined the streets, some of which were so full almost everything else was obscured from view.
“These toys, sold for next to nothing and made for less, lined the streets. On some streets there were so many vendors that the inflatable toys obscured almost everything else from view. Cheap, synthetic, short-lived and easily replaced, the inflatable toys seemed to encapsulate many of my anxieties about change in my country.”
Mark Valenzuela's (Philippines/Australia) practice combines painting, drawing and ceramic installation. Internal and external conflict, anxiety and repetition are residing themes that Valenzuela explores to reveal the ways that an individual adjusts, conforms and rebels against his/herself and the society in which they live.
Valenzuela has exhibited widely in his home country of the Philippines, Australia, and internationally. Most recently, Valenzuela has exhibited at Vargas Museum (Philippines) and the 3rd Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale at the National Gallery of Indonesia, and Asian Art in London with One East Asia.
This is Valenzuela’s second showing at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (Australia) after his inclusion in the group show Dress Me Featherless (2015) curated by Fiona Gavino.
Valenzuela is a recipient of the 2015 Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Awards and the Arts SA Individual Development Grant (Australia). His solo exhibitions Warzone and Zugzwang were shortlisted for the 2008 and 2012 Ateneo Arts Award respectively.
In addition to his own artistic practice, Valenzuela has organised and curated numerous exhibitions over the past decade. In 2013, Valenzuela co-founded Boxplot, a flexible arts project aimed at supporting opportunities for collaboration between Australian and Southeast Asian artists.
Valenzuela is represented by Artinformal, Manila.
The ghost of art practices past haunt Darwin artist Leon Waud out of a 14-year hiatus and back once again to making art. His exhibition in Gallery 2, ’The Other’, is comprised of sculptural works, paintings and interactive digital film. Ghostliness is a lingering theme of this work, not only in the sense of apparitions but also as ‘traces’ - moments, gaps and juxtapositions which suggest the eerie presence of the in-between.
Ghostliness for Waud is also a manifestation of fear and the power of a fearfulness he has imbued in certain objects:
"This fear seems to be completely irrational but however it is there existing outside of rationality; this for me was the other."
Leon Waud is a Darwin-based artist who works across a range of mediums. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the Queensland University of Technology. He has held solo shows including Same Shit Different Room, Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane (2002) and No Fixed Address, Development Space, Metro Arts Brisbane (1999); and participated in a number of group shows including: Serendipity and Lunacy (in contemporary photography), Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane (2002), Between Now and Tomorrow, Gallery 482, Brisbane (2002) and Endzone, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2000).
Inheritance is an exhibition of wood and metal sculpture by emerging artist Joel Mitchell, featuring large-scale seedpods that have been made from reclaimed, discarded wood. Sustainability is an important aspect of Mitchell’s practice, in which he never cuts down living trees or takes from existing habitats, preferring found wood that has often been dumped or discarded.
“I find the process of seeing potential in discarded wood, then cutting, carving, grinding and sanding until it is realised, a deeply therapeutic process. This practice has many parallels in seeing the potential within myself and others.”
Mitchell’s inspiration comes from “Darwin’s unique and diverse landscape”, although his love of nature was cultivated growing up in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Themes from his work with youth, in outdoor education and reflections on parenthood also feed into his practice; correlating concepts of hope, restoration, beauty, brokenness and inheritance with his personal experiences and the natural world.
“I am intrigued with seed pods, as their primary function is to grow, protect, nurture and release life to the next generation. A tiny seed holding all the DNA of the parent plant, lays dormant, until the conditions are right to germinate. Only then do we see its full potential and beauty (or destructive nature) realised.”
Joel Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries from Charles Darwin University, he won first prize in the 2013 Wetlands Australia Photography Competition (Flora) and has recently had a public artwork installed in a leisure precinct in Darwin . Inheritance marks Mitchell’s first solo show at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art.