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A grand show from Down Under

Staff Reporter



Indigenous art: Acrylic painting by Ningie Nanala Nangala

NEW DELHI: To promote understanding and awareness of indigenous culture Down Under, the Australian High Commission is showcasing contemporary Australian art from the Balgo Hills at its Shanti Path premises here.

Bringing together some of the finest contemporary indigenous art to tour internationally, the exhibition features artists who are recognised as respected Balgo painters. The artists, who include Eubena Nampitjin, Joan Nagomara, Tjunipa and Ningie Nanala Nangala, are acknowledged as stars by the international art world and some of the next generation of emerging artists. Billed as an international touring exhibition of Australian indigenous artwork, the seeds of “Balgo contemporary Australian art from the Balgo Hills” were sown when acrylic paintings emerged from Balgo, deep in the Western desert of Central Australia, in the 1980s. The paintings shook up what the world understood as “traditional” indigenous art. Bold, bright and colourful, the paintings told stories of the land -- what indigenous Australians call “county” in a way that seemed utterly modern, apparently abstract and quite exceptional.

Consisting of contemporary paintings and etchings, Balgo presents a range of stories that demonstrate strong connection Aboriginal people have with their traditions and the ways in which they are being maintained today. The exhibited works are a statement of survival not only of a people but of their religion and law, their land and their spirit.

The exhibition is open up to January 7.

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