Ron Ramsey, Director Newcastle Art Gallery; Roy Ah-See; Curator Nici Cumpston; Dr Ray Kelly; Lydia Miller, Executive Director ATSIA; Peter Mitchley, Santos; Nick Mitzevich, Director SA Art Gallery; Tim Crakanthorp, Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle.
Santos' Cate McMahon, Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council's Aunty Lorraine Lilley and Uncle Neville Lilley, and NSW Aboriginal Lands Councillor Roy Ah-See.
The Desert Country exhibition of the internationally acclaimed Australian desert painting movement is visiting Newcastle Art Gallery, supported by Santos.
Desert Country is the first exhibition to chart the 40-year evolution of the desert painting movement, and the Newcastle exhibition features 55 works from 54 renowned Aboriginal artists, including watercolours from Albert Namatjira.
The exhibition was opened at a ceremony last Friday night, and will run until 17 June 2012.
Ron Ramsey, director of the Newcastle Art Gallery, said the exhibition was a privilege for the art gallery to host and a great opportunity for the Hunter region to see the remarkable artworks.
“It is wonderful that the Newcastle Art Gallery is part of the national tour of such an important collection,” Mr Ramsey said.
“The collection has rare examples of the first experimental paintings by ground-breaking masters in 1971 through to some of the most outstanding contemporary artists such as Maringka Baker, Nura Rupert, Kunmanara (Jimmy) Baker and Tjungkara Ken.”
Nick Mitzevich, director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, said it was important for the artworks to be shared with people around the country.
“The collection is from our extensive collection of Aboriginal art, much of which had hitherto been in storage – making it accessible and visible to the broader community is important,” Mr Mitzevich said.
“The Desert Country collection tour is possible through Santos’ generous long-term sponsorship of the gallery’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection.
“Much of the collection is also being posted online, but such important works are best appreciated in a gallery.”
Peter Mitchley, Santos General Manager Energy NSW, represented Santos at the opening and said the company was proud to help bring the exhibition to New South Wales.
“As a proud Australian company, Santos is very pleased to support this exhibition of our finest Aboriginal artists.
“While Santos does not operate in the Newcastle area, we do operate in New South Wales and it was important to us that the exhibition tour this state. We hope people from across the region are inspired to visit it.”
>> Visit the Newcastle Art Gallery’s website.
Arts/culture, Indigenous, New South Wales