PA/06/18 16 June 2018
‘Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the National Gallery of Australia’ opens in Delhi as a curtain raiser to Australia Fest
Fresh from a successful showcase in Berlin, the exhibition ‘Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the National Gallery of Australia’ was inaugurated at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in New Delhi yesterday.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India Ms Harinder Sidhu, Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Culture Shri Raghvendra Singh, Director General of the NGMA Mr Adwaita Garanayak, and Deputy Director, National Gallery of Australia (NGA) Ms Kirsten Paisley, jointly inaugurated the exhibition.
“We celebrate the fact that Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous culture, our Indigenous culture stretching over 60,000 years. I am delighted that we are able to share our Indigenous culture and history with Indian audiences through this exhibition,” said Ms Sidhu at the launch.
The exhibition presents significant works produced by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the late 1800s through to today, drawn exclusively from NGA’s extensive collection – the largest of its kind in the world. The 102 artworks take on many forms including paintings on canvas and bark, weaving and sculpture, new media, prints and photography.
In his remarks at the opening, Director General of the NGMA Mr Adwaita Garanayak said, “It is our great honour and pleasure to host the National Gallery of Australia and highlights from its collection at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The exhibition offers a comprehensive and fascinating insight into the worlds of traditional and modern art that emerged between the early nineteenth century and today.”
On bringing the exhibition to India Ms Kirsten Paisley, Deputy Director of the NGA said, “By bringing these extraordinary artworks to India, the NGA advances the international recognition and understanding of Indigenous Australians’ multi-faceted creative traditions.”
Ms Sidhu also used the opportunity to announce the upcoming ‘Australia Fest’ - a festival of Australian culture and creativity across India, beginning this September.
“Foreign relations are not just about political dialogues and trade delegations, as important as they are, but also about cultural connections between peoples. The Australia-India relationship has never been more important, and our cultural ties are deep and longstanding.”
“Australia Fest will help build mutual understanding that will pave the way towards greater cooperation and a richer partnership between our two countries,” remarked Ms Sidhu.
Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the NGA is on show at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi from 16 June to 26 August 2018.