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Celebrating the Continued Influence of Indigenous Women in Australian Art

<i>Who's Afraid of Colour?</i> brings together more than 200 artworks by Indigenous women artists of Australia.

Katherine Gillespie

Katherine Gillespie

Miriam Charlie, "My Country No Home: Nancy Kidd, Garrwa One Camp" (2015). All images courtesy of the NGV

When it comes to contemporary art, Australia’s Indigenous women have always punched well above their weight. Which is why a new exhibition at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria is bringing together more than 200 contemporary artworks by 118 Indigenous Australian women artists for a new show that shines a spotlight on their diversity and talent.

Encompassing works from both desert and urban artists, Who’s Afraid of Colour? surveys the journey of Australian Indigenous women’s art since it came to the fore in the 1980s. The exhibition will showcase woven objects and bark paintings as well as paintings, sculpture, textiles, installations, photographs, and digital works. The survey show will be spread across six gallery spaces at the NGV’s Ian Potter Centre, and will provide the NGV with an opportunity to display some of its newest acquisitions, which include photographs by Destiny Deacon and Bindi Cole Chocka.

Other big names in the show include Emily Kam Kngwarray, Judy Watson and Yvonne Koolmatrie. The latter three artists, who represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1997, were key to defining Australia’s contemporary art landscape during the 1990s. Some more works to look out for include paintings by Warlpiri woman Lorna Napurrurla Fencer and Gija woman Queenie McKenzie, and video works by Tasmanian Aboriginal artist Julie Gough.

You can take a look at some of the works from the upcoming show below.

Emily Kam Kngwarray, "Body paint: Awely" (1993)

Nonggirrnga Marawili, "Mundukul" (2014)

Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, "Pink diptych II" (2015)

Queenie McKenzie, "Limestone hills near Texas Downs" (1991)

Emily Kam Kngwarray, "Anwerlarr Anganenty (Big yam Dreaming)" (1995)

Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, "My country" (2009)

Julie Downing, "Goodbye white fella religion" (1992)

Who’s Afraid of Colour? is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 16 December 2016 – April 2017. You can find out more about it here.

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