Shedding new light on contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

Tarnanthi, pronounced tar-nan-dee, is a Kaurna word from the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains. It describes the first emergence of light, and for many cultures, first light signifies new beginnings. Tarnanthi's vision has been to provide artists with the opportunity to create significant new work.

The Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art 2017 brings together over 200 artists from across the country to showcase their works of art at the Art Gallery of South Australia, and a further 300 artists across twenty-six city-wide exhibitions produced in collaboration with twenty-two partner organisations.

Tarnanthi's mission is to give agency to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists’ way of thinking and being in this world by presenting works of art through their voices. The 2017 program highlights include Tarnanthi Art Fair; panpa-panpalya, a public symposium modelled on the Kaurna philosophy of gathering to exchange and share knowledge; and the Namatjira Project Auction – an auction of historic boomerangs, woomeras and spears made in collaboration with Mervyn Rubuntja and Kevin McCormack, reimagined by leading Australian artists.

The 2017 Artistic Director of Tarnanthi is Nici Cumpston.

Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art is presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia with support from Arts SA, Government of South Australia and Principal Partner BHP Billiton.

Principal Partner
  • BHP

installation view: Tarnanthi 2019 featuring Blood Money - Infinite Dollar Note - Uncle Stephen Gadlabarti Goldsmith Commemorative by Ryan Presley, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide;; photo: Saul Steed.

Tribute

Stephen Gadlabarti Goldsmith

Opening Weekend
12 - 16 Oct 2017

Electric Fields performing at the launch of the 2017 Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, photo: John Montesi

Tarnanthi Art Fair
13 - 15 Oct 2017

Naomi Kanturiny from Amata, South Australia and Maringka Burton from Indulkana, South Australia collecting minarri grass, 2017; © Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NPY Women’s Council; photo: Rhett Hammerton.

Tarnanthi at AGSA
13 Oct 2017 – 28 Jan 2018

Alec Baker, Eric Kumanara Barney, Freda Brady, Moses Brady, Michael Bruno, Angela Burton, Cisco Burton, Kunmanara (Hector) Burton, Noel Burton, Pepai Jangala Carroll, Taylor Wanyima Cooper, Margaret Ngilan Dodd, Sammy Dodd, Jimmy Donegan, Maureen Douglas, Kunmanara (Ronnie) Douglas, Stanley Douglas, Arnie Frank, Witjiti George, Kunmanara (Gordon) Ingkatji, Adrian Intjalki, Rupert Jack, Willy Kaika Burton, Nyurpaya Kaika Burton, Naomi Kantjuriny, Brenton Ken, Freddy Ken, Ray Ken, Iluwanti Ungkutjutu Ken, Graham Kulyuru, Willy Muntjantji Martin, Errol Morris, Kevin Morris, Mark Morris, Peter Mungkuri, Vincent Namatjira, Tiger Palpatja, Mary Katatjuku Pan, David Pearson, Jimmy Pompey, Aaron Riley, Adrian Riley, William Tjapaltjarri Sandy, Priscilla Singer, Keith Stevens, Lydon Stevens, Bernard Tjalkuri, Lyndon Tjangala, Mr Wangin, Ginger Wikilyiri, Mick Wikilyiri, Mumu Mike Williams, Anwar Young , Carol Young, Frank Young , Kamurin Young, Marcus Young, Roma Young, Yaritji Young, Kulata Tjuta, 2017, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia, wood, spinifex resin, kangaroo tendon; Courtesy the artists and Ernabella Arts, Iwantja Arts, Kaltjiti Arts, Mimili Maku Arts, Ninuku Arts, Tjala Arts, Tjungu Palya, APY Art Centre Collective, installation view: TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, 2017, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Saul Steed

Across the City & State
14 Sep 2017 - 11 Feb 2018

Beryl Jimmy, Pitjantjatjara people, South Australia, born 1970, Pukatja (Ernabella), South Australia, Nyangatja Watarru, 2016, Watarru, South Australia; printed Adelaide, pigment print on paper, 150.0 x 240.0 cm; Acquisition through Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art supported by BHP 2017, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Beryl Jimmy/Copyright Agency, photo: Leopold Fiala.

Education

Tarnanthi 2015 featuring students from Allenby Gardens Primary School, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are respectfully advised that the following videos may contain the images of people who have passed away.

Tarnanthi is led by Artistic Director Nici Cumpston, the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. Cumpston is a proud Barkandji artist, writer, and educator who is also of Afghan, English and Irish heritage. She is a descendant of the people of the Barka, the Darling River, in far western New South Wales. Her career has been characterised by working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to bring new work and new ways of seeing to wider audiences.