Tarnanthi 2020

Fri 16th October, 2020 – Sun 31st January, 2021
Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace, Adelaide
The Art Gallery of South Australia’s annual celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art returns with an exhibition highlighting the work of First Nations women, plus the popular Tarnanthi Art Fair.

Tarnanthi, the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA)’s major celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, returns in October with the exhibition Open Hands.

One of AGSA’s flagship shows, the annual event alternates in format between a state-wide festival one year and a major focus exhibition the next. This year’s exhibition, held from October 16 to January 31, will highlight how women First Nations artists form a vital link in sharing knowledge across generations.

Open Hands celebrates the ongoing and often unseen work that women in communities do to maintain culture,” said Tarnanthi curator and Barkandji artist Nici Cumpston OAM. “Keeping these stories alive and sharing knowledge is deeply embedded within everyday life across Australia.”

Exhibiting artists are working with a variety of media, including painting, photography, moving image, sound installation, weaving, ceramics and sculpture. The 87 artists come from across Australia, including the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands, Mparntwe/Alice Springs, Central Arnhem Land and Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island.

Among the works are vibrant paintings of life in Mparntwe/Alice Springs that have been transformed into animations by artists from Tangentyere Art Centre; artist Naomi Hobson’s Adolescent Wonderland, a series of evocative photographic portraits of young people in the Far North Queensland community of Coen; and an installation of woven sculptures by mother-daughter duo Lena Yarinkura and Yolanda Rostron, made from natural materials found on their homeland in Central Arnhem Land.

The Tarnanthi Art Fair will also return from December 4 to 6, with a display of works for sale selected by art centres.

“Creating art is a vital source of income that supports economic empowerment and cultural resilience in remote communities,” said AGSA director Rhana Devenport ONZM. “Through the Tarnanthi Art Fair, buyers are guaranteed that every dollar from sales goes directly back to artists and their communities.”

For the first time, Tarnanthi will also cross international borders, with works by 34 artists from the APY Lands occuping an entire floor of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, France.

More information here.