Art Collecting

View the Telstra NATSIAA 2022 winners in a virtual gallery | Pro Club Bd

Credit: Mark Sherwood

We are proud to support the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in announcing the winners of this year’s Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Telstra NATSIAA).

The Telstra NATSIAA is the highest-paying arts award in Australia, with award-winning artists contributing a total of US$190,000 (previously US$80,000) and MAGNT funding towards acquisitions in the Telstra collection of US$50,000 annually. We recently extended our partnership with MAGNT for another three years, extending our sponsorship to over three decades.

Of the 63 finalists selected from a total of 221 entries for NATSIAA 2022, the winners have created powerful works that explore history and cultural identity and demonstrate technical virtuosity on a monumental scale.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn says the awards have once again showcased First Nations art at the highest level. “Congratulations to Margaret Rarru Garrawurra on her incredible work connecting us to the cultural history of the Yolŋu people and to all Telstra NATSIAA 2022 winners for once again doing exceptional work across a variety of media.

“Telstra is proud to have supported the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards for over 30 years, which honor both emerging and outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. We hope that as Australia’s richest arts awards it will continue to attract a wide range of talented First Nations artists, with a diversity of artistic talent, to submit their work and share their uniquely Australian stories.”

To see all of the Telstra NATSIAA 2022 winning artworks, visit the Virtual Gallery at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

This year, you can also hear the stories of artists Kent Morris, Gail Mabo and Tyrown Waigana as they showcase and discuss their artwork.

Telstra Art Prize

Photo credit: Margaret Rarru Garrawurra, Dhomala (Pandanus sails) 2022, Pandanus, Kurrajong, bush colors, 278 x 245 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Milingimbi Art and Culture. Sherwood figurative mark

Winner – Margaret Rarru Garrawurra, for her work Dhomala (Pandanus Sail) 2022

Margaret Rarru Garrawurra was born in Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island). Today she lives on her mother’s land in Laŋarra (Howard Island) and in Yurrwi / Milingimbi, both off the coast of north-eastern Arnhem Land.

Dhomala (Pandanus Sail) refers both to the artist’s cultural identity and to the historical relationships that exist between the Yolŋu people and the people of present-day Indonesia.

Rarru Garrawurra’s ambitious weave Dhomala (Pandanus Sail) was rendered using a blend of natural colorants to achieve deep reds, blacks, oranges and yellows. Dhomala embodies the time-consuming processes of harvesting pandanus and dyes, as well as processing materials and weaving. Each of these production steps is as important as the other.

Telstra General Painting Prize

Photo credit: Betty Muffler, Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country) 2021, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 167 x 198 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Iwantja Arts. Sherwood figurative mark

Winner – Betty Muffler, for her work Ngangkari Ngura (Land of Healing) 2021
Indulkana, SA

Betty Mufflers Ngangkari Ngura is characterized by a subtle composition of muted and monochrome designs. This soft color palette has become the artist’s trademark and is instantly recognizable.

Muffler began painting in her late seventies and won Best Emerging Artist at the 2017 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. Just five years later, in 2022, she received the Telstra General Painting Award, a recognition of her meteoric journey and her deserved rise to fame as an artist.

Muffler’s intuitive tagging is steeped in stories and layers of complex cultural knowledge. The artist’s deep reverence for country is palpable. as a painting, Ngangkari Ngura is expertly finished. The repetition of concentric circular patterns and linear stripes is both elegant and complex.

Telstra Bark Painting Award

Credit: Ms. D. Yunupiŋu, Yunupiŋu – The Rock 2021, Earth pigments and recycled printing toner on stringy bark, 217 x 98 cm. Courtesy of the estate of Mrs. D. Yunupiŋu and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka. Sherwood figurative mark

Winner – Ms. D. Yunupiŋu, Yunupiŋu – The Rock 2021
Yirrkala, NT

The judges offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Ms. D. Yunupiŋu and to the entire community in Yirrkala. We recognize this immense loss that continues to be felt by all whose lives touched it.

The lady who paints mermaids had a short but impressive career as a painter. Ms. D. Yunupiŋu works in a distinctly lyrical and figurative style, drawing on family iconography to tell the story of her spiritual conception as a mermaid.

This slender bark has been whimsically rendered with a combination of naturally occurring ochres in cream, white and black; and synthetic pigments made from recycled printer cartridges to create a brilliant and captivating palette of fuchsia, pink and magenta tones.

The background of the composition is layered and filled with delicate sea creatures and stars, from which emerge four daring mermaids. Positioned under embargo | page 4 in front of an immobile rock, the bodies of the mermaids appear ghostly, overlapping and intertwined.

Telstra Works on Paper Award

Credit: Gary Philip Lee, Nagi 2022, oil pastel and pencil on digital print, 40 x 28 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Sherwood figurative mark

Winner – Gary Lee, Nagi 2022
Garramilla / Darwin, N.T

Nagi exudes tenderness and affection. This poignant and intimate depiction of Lee’s grandfather – Juan (John) Roque Cubillo – marks a high point in the artist’s career.

In reclaiming the historical archive of photographs, Lee resolutely reorients them in the contemporary and personal realm. This work on paper shows a subtle use of oil pastel and pencil markings to adorn the portrait of his grandfather.

These embellishments evoke a sensory and tactile quality in the work. Delicately hued gardenias add another sensory component with the hint of a scented halo gently framing the subject.

Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award

Photo credits: Bonnie Burangarra and Freda Ali Wayartja, An-gujechiya 2021, burntweed (Malaisia ​​scandens), bush cane (Flagellaria indica), kurrajong (Brachychiton diversifolius), 64 x 280 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Maningrida Arts & Culture. Sherwood figurative mark

Winners – Bonnie Burangarra and Freda Ali, An-gujechiya 2021
Yilan, N.T

This intricate sculpture is an example of contemporary indigenous fiber practice. It exudes ingenuity, technical excellence and a commitment to the slow, diverse stages of fiber art production.

The mastery of the natural fibers with which the artists work is remarkable, as well as their ability to collaborate.

This an-gujechiya is simultaneously a contemporary work of art and a form of cultural continuity. In selecting this award, the judges recognize the importance of fiber production in contemporary indigenous art practice.

Telstra Multimedia Prize

Credit: Jimmy John Thaiday, Beyond the Lines 2022, Single Channel HD Video: 16:9, Color, Sound, 5:22 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Erub Art

Winner – Jimmy John Thaiday, Beyond the Lines 2022
Erub, Torres Street, QLD

This powerful and emotive work explores the connection between the artist and his land, illustrated through sea, land, sky and wildlife (in the form of the whythe frigate bird).

This meditation on the interconnectedness of life, land and sea explores relationships and correlations between naturally occurring patterns, formations and movements.

Beyond the Lines is technically adept and masterful. Its refined visual rhythm is carefully timed, combining a convincing use of wide-angle lenses with close-ups. The thoughtful use of sound is also remarkable.

Telstra Emerging Artist Award

Photo credit: Louise Malarvie, Pamarr Yara 2022, earth pigments on canvas, 125 x 130 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Waringarri Arts. Sherwood figurative mark

Winner – Louise Malarvie, Pamar Yara 2022
Kununurra, WA

This alluring painting conveys a layered, grainy texture that suggests the earth being swept, shifted and redistributed by the spread of rain and flooding.

This subtle but impressive work illustrates Malarvie’s ability for strong compositions and her dexterity in applying earth pigments that naturally contain the muted colors of her land.

Their composition simultaneously conveys nuanced and distinctive features of the land and the vastness and immense size of the Great Sandy Desert.

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