View the Telstra NATSIAA exhibition online

September 16, 2021

Known as Australia’s longest running and most prestigious Indigenous art award, the 2021 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAAs) were announced in an online event on 6 August.

Carefully selected from 240 submissions, an exhibition of finalists will run from August to February at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. It showcases all 65 of the shortlisted works from the most talented established and emerging Indigenous artists from across the nation.

The exhibition has been made freely available to the public online as a virtual experience. This innovative way of viewing art is a welcome treat to those of us affected by lockdowns or whom are unable to travel. As you make your way around the gallery by the click of a mouse, you can view each work in 3D mode via augmented reality at 360 degree angles, and read artist biographies and comments from the judges.

MAGNT Director Marcus Schutenko and MAGNT Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture, Rebekah Raymond, standing alongside •Tutini (Pukumani poles) 2020 by artist Timothy Cook.

MAGNT Director Marcus Schutenko and MAGNT Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture, Rebekah Raymond standing next to Tutini (Pukumani poles) 2020 by Timothy Cook. Courtesy of MAGNT. Photo: Charlie Bliss.

This year’s judges were Denise Quall, a renowned local Larrakia artist, Liz Nowell, Director of the Institute of Modern Art, and Dennis Stokes, CEO of First Nations Media Australia.

With what would have been a difficult decision with the extraordinary calibre of artists, this year the judges announced Pitjantjatara man Timo Hogan as winner of the Telstra Art Award, for Lake Baker (synthetic polymer paint on linen), awarding him $50,000 as the top prize.

Lake Baker is a large scale monochromatic painting, inspired by the creation story Hogan’s father had shared with him about the sacred lands of he and their ancestors, the Wati Kutjara Tjukurpa (Two Men creation line) and the Wanampi (water serpent).

The judges revelled in Hogan’s talents: “In a work of this scale, there is nowhere for an artist to hide: Timo’s restrained use of paint, texture and form not only demonstrates exceptional artistic instinct, but also his intimate connection to Country. Lake Baker is a mediative, connected and assured master work by one of Australia’s most exciting up and coming artists.”

Hogan gracefully accepted his award in a prepared statement by video, commenting: “I am very happy to have won this award. It makes me feel strong inside. Painting is important for Anangu to tell their stories.The Art Centre is a good place for people to come and be together and paint their country. I’m happy for this prize and that people see this work is important”

Quandamooka woman Kyra Mancktelow was awarded the Telstra Emerging Artist Award for Moongalba 11, which the judges described as “haunting and ghostly”.

A combination of printmaking, textiles and etching, Mancktwlow’s powerful work symbolises the pain and sorrow young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experienced in Australia’s dark history of assimilation and colonisation, with the introduction of missionaries in the 1800s.

Each category of the awards celebrates a different medium, and the expertise of each artist’s individual styles. This year’s winners for each category were:

  • Telstra General Painting Award – Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25) by Bugai Whyoulter
  • Telstra Bark Painting Award – Bees atGäṉgän by Dhambit Munuŋgurr
  • Telstra Works on Paper Award – Untitled by Ms M Wirrpanda
  • Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award (sponsored by Telstra) – Through the veil in time by Hubert Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja
  • Telstra Multimedia Award – Live performance of Jilarti (brolga song), Pirmitiki (feather head piece), Imeuja (false beard), Tokwayinga(feather ball), Tjimirrikamarka (fighting stick), Tunga (folded bark bag) by Pedro Wonaeamirri

The Telstra People’s Choice Award is now open for public voting. While browsing the virtual gallery, you can decide on your favourite piece and cast your vote for the 2021 winner, who will be announced later this year.

2021 Telstra NAATSIA exhibition. Courtesy of MAGNT. Photo: Charlie Bliss.

Copyright Agency is proud to note that over 30 of the finalists are our visual artist members. Congratulations to all 2021 finalists on a fantastic exhibit of varied and captivating works!

List of member finalists:

  • Elisa Jane Carmichael
  • Erub Arts
  • Angkaliya Curtis
  • Peter Mungkuri
  • Tjunkaya Tapaya
  • Betty Chimney
  • Stanley Douglas
  • Ben Ward Galmirri
  • Jane Cheedy
  • Nyangulya Katie Nalgood
  • Bobby West Tjupurrula
  • John Prince Siddon
  • Sonia Kurarra
  • Bugai Whyoulter
  • Katjarra Butler
  • David Cox
  • Ned Grant
  • Butler, Roma
  • Fred Grant
  • Nola Yurnangurnu Campbell
  • Adrian Jangala Robertson
  • Hubert Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja
  • Charles Jangala Inkamala
  • Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri
  • Pedro Wonaeamirri
  • Dino Wilson
  • Rona Panangka Rubuntja
  • Djambawa Marawili
  • Mary Dhapalany
  • Timothy Cook
  • Mr M Walarmerpui
  • Doris Nungarrayi Bush
  • Muluymuluy Wirrpanda
  • George Tjungurrayi

The 2021 Telstra NATSIAA exhibit will be on display at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin from 7 August 2021 to 6 February 2022. You can take the exhibition tour online here.

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