Tarnanthi: honouring shared knowledge from generations of women

Like many events this year, Tarnanthi has had to meet the challenges, uncertainty and closed borders that have come hand in hand with 2020 head on, but is now open to the public, celebrating the shared knowledge of generations of women.

Tarnanthi, Adelaide’s annual celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, features artwork from 87 artists from communities right across Australia in its 2020 exhibition Tarnanthi: Open Hands.

The creativity First Nations’ women use to share knowledge across generations is highlighted in this year’s Tarnanthi, with recognition of the deep connections made to Country and culture through the art making process.

Open Hands celebrates the ongoing and often unseen work that women in communities do to maintain culture. Keeping these stories alive and sharing knowledge is deeply embedded within everyday life across Australia.”             – Artistic Director and Barkandji artist Nici Cumpston, who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the museums and galleries sector and to Indigenous art in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The annual Tarnanthi Art Fair has been specially designed as a “COVID-safe” event this year, and there’ll be limited opportunities to sift through canvases on tables as over the previous five years. The Fair will still be held from 4-6 December, displaying artwork for sale that has been hand selected by community art centres.

“Creating art is a vital source of income that supports economic empowerment and cultural resilience in remote communities,” said Art Gallery of South Australia Director Rhana Devenport ONZM.

“Through Tarnanthi Art Fair, buyers are guaranteed that every dollar from sales goes directly back to artists and their communities.”

Tarnanthi is also going international this year, in collaboration with the APY Art Centre Collective. New work from 34 APY Lands artists opens today at the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Renes, France, occupying an entire floor.

Listen to our interview with Artistic Director Nici Cumpston OAM above.

Tarnanthi: Open Hands exhibition
16 October 2020 – 31 January 2021
Art Gallery of South Australia

Tarnanthi Art Fair

4-6 December 2020

Lot Fourteen

Naomi Hobson – Southern Kaantju/Umpila people, Queensland
born 1978, Coen, Queensland
from the series Adolescent Wonderland
2019, Coen, Queensland
digital print on paper
Courtesy the artist and Redot Fine Art Gallery