The Australia Council for the Arts has acknowledged all nominees and winners of this year’s National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.
Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AM and Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski attended last night’s awards ceremony as part of a visit to Darwin to meet Northern Territory artists, arts organisations and government representatives from the sector.
Mr Myer said it was a pleasure to be in Darwin to attend the awards, now in its 30th year, as well as the opening of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts make a rich contribution to Australia’s diverse contemporary culture and national identity and it is important those achievements are recognised and celebrated through these awards, Mr Myer said.
On behalf of the Australia Council, I congratulate the nominees and winners of this prestigious event.
Australia Council Board member Lee-Ann Buckskin also attended the ceremony and said the awards promoted appreciation and understanding of the quality and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art being produced right across Australia.
The awards are a great opportunity to showcase work from both established and emerging Indigenous artists from regional and urban Australia, working in both traditional and contemporary media, Ms Buckskin said.
Earlier in the day Ms Buckskin, who is also Manager Aboriginal Arts Development at Carclew Youth Arts Adelaide, gave the key note address at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
Her speech addressed this year’s theme: Our Art Makes More than a Living. Our Art is Living.
The Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts programs support all artforms, including music, dance, theatre and storytelling, visual arts and crafts, writing, new media, community development, international activity and arts infrastructure.
The Australia Council recognises the integral links between art, culture, language, heritage, land and sea, as well as customary law and the importance of developing and growing the Indigenous arts sector and its industries by supporting the creation, development, production, distribution and dissemination of artistic and creative works.
While in Darwin, Mr Myer and Mr Grybowski met with Arts Minister Matthew Conlon, senior staff from the Department of Arts and Museums and various arts organisations funded by the Australia Council.
Mr Grybowski said they also attended the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and the Darwin Festival.
We were keen to gather feedback from our stakeholders and see the impressive art that is being produced here in the Northern Territory.