APY Lands to star in Switzerland gallery dedicated to Indigenous Australian art

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The Swiss Alps are a far cry from the APY Lands in far north South Australia. (Rohan Thomson)
Amata artist Nyunmita Burton said she had loved working with the other women to create the biggest painting she had ever done.”We’re a long way from the families — I’ve got families at Ernabella and I never go and visit them but the workshops bring us together,” she said.”And I’m happy to see them and working together as a family and putting all our stories into the paintings.”Putting the stories together and making strong people to live strong, our people, our children to be happy.”We make them proud inside — in their hearts they feel happy.”Like the women, male artists from every community in the APY Lands will meet later this year to collaborate on a piece of art for the gallery. (Arnd Wiegmann: Reuters)
“Switzerland, being in the middle of Europe, the idea is not only to cater for the Swiss public but the European public in general.”The gallery will predominantly feature art from the APY Lands.Mr Petitjean travelled from Switzerland to the remote outback region this week to meet with the Indigenous artists whose work will be exhibited when it opens in June next year.”We are enjoying it very much here, it’s fantastic to be here with people who live in this country and the paintings of course that are a reflection of this country,” he said.”In a year’s time, when the paintings will be on display on the walls of that Swiss institution, one can only dream of the country on which it is based.”This is the first of two major paintings — one by women artists, one by men artists … which will involve the men from the same APY Lands communities.”

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Artists work on the large painting going to Switzerland. The work of Aboriginal artists from South Australia’s APY Lands will feature prominently when Europe’s first gallery dedicated to Indigenous Australian art opens next year.More than 30 female Aboriginal artists from every community in the APY Lands this week travelled to Amata, about 14 kilometres south of the Northern Territory border, to paint a massive five-metre by three-metre piece of art for the gallery.It is the first time Anangu artists have banded together like this to collaborate on a painting and share stories.Ernabella artist Alison Milyika Carroll said it gave all the women a rare opportunity to learn from each other and share happy times together.”It’s good for all the other ladies from the APY Lands to come together and do this big painting and putting all the stories in one big canvas,” Carroll said.”We sit around and we do this painting and we talk and we laugh and it’s been really good.”We’re all happy that it’s going overseas to Switzerland and all the ladies are so happy for what we’ve done.”Last month, Swiss art collector Berengere Primat bought a new gallery in the rural Alpine town of Lens which she will dedicate to the artwork of Indigenous Australians and name Foundation Opale.Clear need for an Indigenous art gallery in EuropeGallery curator Georges Petitjean said interest in Australian Aboriginal art was growing rapidly in Europe and the need for a specific gallery was clear.”For the moment there is no museum or no institution that is focused on Indigenous Australian art [in Europe] so this new foundation will be dedicated solely to Indigenous Australian art,” he said.
Aboriginal artists return to renowned workshop in Mittagong
(Rohan Thomson) By Claire Campbell

Posted

June 21, 2018 06:40:24

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Artists came together in Amata to create the painting.
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