Each year Tarnanthi showcases independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists working in cities and regional towns, as well as artists who live in communities and work at their community art centres. In 2017, the exhibition brings together over 200 artists from across the country, beginning close to home with a focus on artists from South Australia’s Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.


Kent Morris’ kaleidoscopic photographs, titled Unvanished, greet visitors in the Gallery’s vestibule; his mandala-like landscapes a meditation on displacement and connection, refraction and unity.

G7 and Studio

In the Atrium and the Studio, visitors encounter an immersive installation of woven marine life sculptures, made from ghost nets (discarded fishing nets), by artists from Erub, Darnley Island, in the Torres Strait Islands.


Under Pressure, curated by Dennis Golding and Tess Allas, presents a selection of prints made at Cicada Press at the University of New South Wales. The works in Under Pressure reveal denied historical truths, political truths and familial truths.


Painting remains a sustained and celebrated practice across the APY Lands, as showcased in the Desert Salon. Works by established and emerging artists sit alongside one another, including Barbara Mbitjana Moore and Yaritji Young from Tjala Arts in Amata; Betty Kuntiwa Pumani from Mimili Maku Arts in Mimili; Taylor Wanyima Cooper, Imitjala Curley and Witjiti George from Kaltjiti Arts in Fregon; and Alec Baker, Vicki Cullinan and Peter Mungkuri from Iwantja Arts in Indulkana.

Also from the APY lands, Painting on Country features a series of large-scale photographs created by artists from Tjungu Palya Arts. Using tutu (natural pigment), the artists have painted their Tjukurpa directly onto Country, with photography bearing witness to these ephemeral acts. In a series of arresting paintings titled Outside Man, Nyaparu William Gardiner shares his life experiences and introduces us to the characters he has encountered working on stations and in mines throughout the Pilbara in Western Australia.

Moving away from painting, Shirley Macnamara’s sculpted baskets and objects are imbued with power from spinifex, feathers and bones found on her property – Mount Guide Station near Mount Isa in Queensland; Jimmy Pompey and Eric Kunmanara Barney have worked with wax for the first time to sculpt a series of bronze sculptures in Camels, Bullocks and Brumbies; and from Baluk Arts in Victoria, Tallara Gray and Lisa Waup create exceptional contemporary jewellery and objects using traditional techniques incorporating found and locally sourced natural materials.


The Kulata Tjuta video is a six channel moving image work that is one of the components of the major installation The Kulata Tjuta Project, on display in Gallery 11. Its footage reveals the artists personal recollections of atomic bomb testing that occurred on APY Lands between 1956-1963, with many people speaking publicly for the first time.

In Tjukurpa Kunpu Mulapa artists Kunmanara Mumu Mike Williams, Sammy Dodd and Willy Muntjantji Martin from Mimili Maku Arts repurpose Australia Post mailbags as canvases, hung from kulata (spears), asserting their place as traditional owners of Anangu land.


The Kulata Tjuta Project is a major collaborative installation of suspended kulata (spears), crafted by Anangu male artists, that hover over hand carved piti (wooden bowls) created by Anangu women artists. In total 59 Anangu artists from across the APY Lands have collaborated to express their shared personal experiences of the atomic bomb testing that occurred on their Country between 1956 and 1963.


In related collaborative works, twenty-three Anangu men from across the APY Lands have created a monumental tribute painting titled Kulata Tjuta – A work for Kunmanara (Gordon) Ingkatji. This act of solidarity is echoed in a major collaborative painting by twenty-four Anangu women, who paint their shared Tjukurpa in their work Kungkarangkalpa – Seven Sisters. To accompany the paintings, Robert Fielding has created a series of black-and-white portraits of thirty-two of the artists, capturing the photographs at each of the sites to mark the significance of these gatherings.

Yuta Mulkurr, New Minds is a showcase of short experimental films and visual moments by artistic duo Gutingarra Yunupingu and Mundatjngu Mununggurr, assisted by Kade McDonald from the Mulka Project in Yirrkala, northeast Arnhem Land.


The paintings of Taylor Wanyima Cooper from Kaltjiti Arts and Nyunmiti Burton of Tjala Arts, continue the APY Lands Desert Salon.

These works are complimented by the twelve-metre long three-channel video OA_RR by Reko Rennie, featuring a camouflage over-painted gold 1973 Rolls-Royce Corniche and accompanied by a melodic score by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

For the project What if this photograph is by Albert Namatjira? contemporary artists from Iltja Ntjarra/Many Hands Arts Centre have responded to photographs from the Battarbee Collection – photographs taken by Rex Battarbee, and possibly Albert Namatjira, during the formative time the two artists spent together in western Arrernte country in the 1930s.


The Gallery pays tribute to Kwementyay (Gladdy) Kemarre, from Camel Camp, Utopia to the northeast of Alice Springs by exhibiting two large-scale paintings. Her recently completed sacred Bush Plum sits alongside Sorry Mob, the two works painted ten years apart. From Upungalindum, also in the region of Utopia, Josie Kunoth Petyarre has painted an immersive large-scale celebration of her Sugar Bag ancestral creation story. Tiger Yaltangki’s Big Story and Betty Muffler’s Ngayuku Ngangkari Ngura (My Healing Country), both from Iwantja Arts, carry the dynamic and innovative painting practices of the APY Lands into Gallery 23.

Important story telling continues in the work of Yarrenyty Arltere Artists from the Larapinta Valley Town Camp, who have made a series of soft sculptures of life-sized self-portraits, titled Every face has a story, every story has a face: Kulila! In the performance piece, We are all animals, trans-disciplinary artist Nicole Monks becomes Sheemu, a hybrid being comprising a sheep and an emu. Patju Presley from Spinifex Arts Project depicts the Emu Tjukurpa in his evocative large-scale painting Walkamata. And in PolyAustralis, Worimi artist Dean Cross has painted the ‘black’ into photographic portraits of renowned Australian expatriates, taken by Polly Borland.


The Jirrawun Collection showcases four highly accomplished artists from Jirrawun Arts, an artist-led organisation in Wyndham, Western Australia, operating from 1998-2010. The 2015 photographic series poignantly titled Saddened Were the Hearts of Many Men, by Ricky Maynard, captures studio portraits of twelve Tasmanian elders. And from Western Arnhem Land, Bob Burruwul and Lena Yarinkura present their ambitious installation recalling the terrifying story of Bob’s personal experience of Namorrorddo.


Alec Baker, Peter Mungkuri and Jimmy Pompey have made a spaghetti western, Never Stop Riding, a short film created while sharing their life experiences with younger men on a men’s camp at Welbourn Hill, a local cattle station near Indulkana.

In Mark and Memory, painter and ceramicist Pepai Jangala Carroll travelled with fellow ceramicist Derek Jungurrayi Thompson on a 1200-kilometre journey to visit their grandparents’ Country, each responding to the experience with a new body of work. Auto-biography continues in the moving-image work Petrol been wasting all our lives, from the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists of Larapinta Valley Town Camp. And, Vincent Namatjira’s satirical paintings Gina, Donald, Malcolm, Obama and Me infuse autobiography with humour and cheek.

Andy Snelgar from Taree in New South Wales uses carving techniques recalled from the past to create finely crafted shields and clubs; artists from Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency in Fitzroy Crossing have created bright and bold free-flowing acrylic paintings on metal; and Meeyakba features a collection of highly expressive paintings of the Western Australian landscape by pre-eminent Nyoongar artist, Shane Pickett.

Nonŋgirrŋa Marawili from Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land has created a suite of compelling bark paintings and fellow Yolŋu artist Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra presents an immersive installation of larrakitj (memorial poles). Titled Waŋupini (Cloud) to mark the clouds that form at the beginning of the monsoon season when the Macassan and Bugis fisherman from Sulawesi would travel to Arnhem Land in their prau with the assistance of the trade winds. The filmmaker Ishmael Marika has composed a moving-image component to accompany this work, featuring historical footage of the traditional dance performed by Yolŋu to welcome and greet the fishermen to northeast Arnhem Land.


APY Lands at the Gallery

Mayatja Pulka: The Elders
Robert Punnagka Fielding, Mimili Maku Arts

Kulata Tjuta: A work for Kunmanara (Gordon) Ingkatji
Alec Baker, Eric Kunmanara Barney, Willy Kaika Burton, Pepai Jangala Carroll, Taylor Wanyima Cooper, Sammy Dodd, Ronnie Douglas, Stanley Douglas, Arnie Frank, David Frank, Witjiti George, Rupert Jack, Brenton Ken, Freddy Ken, Ray Ken, Willy Muntjantji Martin, Peter Mungkuri, Vincent Namatjira, David Pearson, Jimmy Pompey, Mick Wikilyiri, Mumu Mike Williams, Anwar Young. Supported by the APY Art Centre Collective.

Kungkarangkalpa – Seven Sisters
Freda Brady, Wawiriya Burton, Angkaliya Eadie Curtis, Tjangili Tjapukula George, Sandra Goodwin, Nyurpaya Kaika Burton, Iluwanti Ungkutjuru Ken, Sylvia Ken, Tjungkara Ken, Manyitjanu Lennon, Betty Muffler, Matjangka Nyukana Norris, Mary Katatjuku Pan, Alison Munti Riley, Antjala Tjayangka Robin, Tjariya Nungalka Stanley, Carlene Thompson, Maringka Tunkin, Jeannie Wallatina, Judy Wallatina, Puna Yanima, Beryl Jimmy, Yaritji Young, Betty Kuntiwa Pumani. Supported by the APY Art Centre Collective..

Kulata Tjuta Project
Alec Baker, Eric Kunmanara 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, 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 Ungkutjuru Ken, Graham Kulyuru, Willy Muntjantji Martin, Errol Morris, Kevin Morris, Mark Morris, Peter Mungkuri, Vincent Namatjira, Tiger Palpatja, Mary Katatjuku Pan, David Pearson, Aaron Riley, Adrian Riley, William Tjapaltjarri Sandy, Priscilla Singer, Keith Stevens, Lydon Stevens, Bernard Tjalkuri, Lyndon Tjangala, Mr. Wangin, Ginger Wikilyiri, Mick Wikilyiri, Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams, Anwar Young, Carol Young, Frank Young, Kamurin Young, Marcus Young, Roma Young, Yaritji Young. Supported by the APY Art Centre Collective.

Painting on Country
Marita Baker, Angkaliya Eadie Curtis, Beryl Jimmy, Keith Stevens, Bernard Tjalkuri

Mark and Memory
Pepai Jangala Carroll, Derek Jungarrayi Thompson, Ernabella Arts

APY Lands Desert Salon

Ngayuku Ngura
Barbara Mbitjana Moore, Tjala Arts

Tjala Tjukurpa
Yaritji Young, Tjala Arts

Ngayuku Ngura
Nyunmiti Burton, Tjala Arts

Walytjitjata – Ngayuku Ngunytjuku Ngura
Imitjala Curley, Kaltjiti Arts

Malara: Wanampi Tjukurpa
Taylor Wanyima Cooper, Kaltjiti Arts

Piltati: Wanampi Tjukurpa
Witjiti George, Kaltjiti Arts

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Mimili Maku Arts

Tjukurpa Kunpu Mulapa
Kunmanara Mumu Mike Williams, Sammy Dodd and Willy Muntjantji Martin, Mimili Maku Arts

Munga Ilkari (Night Sky)
Vicki Cullinan, Iwantja Arts

Ngayuku Ngangkari Ngura (My Healing Country)
Betty Muffler, Iwantja Arts

Nganampa Ngura (Our Country)
Alec Baker and Peter Mungkuri, Iwantja Arts

Gina, Donald, Malcolm, Obama and Me
Vincent Namatjira, Iwantja Arts

Big Story
Tiger Yaltangki, Iwantja Arts

Camels, Bullock and Brumbies
Eric Kunmanara Barney, Jimmy Pompey

Never Stop Riding
Kunmanara Andy, Alec Baker, Eric Kunmanara Barney, David Brumby, Germaine DeRose, Johnny Doolan, Michael Drover, Roger Edwards, Geoffrey Kenny, Patuway Mungkuri, Peter Mungkuri, Vincent Namatjira, Jimmy Pompey, Kanji Tjanyari, Lawrence Turner

Tarnanthi at the Gallery

Baluk Arts
Tallara Gray, Lisa Waup

Bob Burruwal, Lena Yarinkura

Under Pressure: Cicada Press curated by Dennis Golding and Tess Allas
Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Lorena Allam, Vic Chapman, Ricky Connick Jakamara, Brenda L. Croft, Julie Gough, Dale Harding, Gordon Hookey, Vanessa Inkamala, Laurel Nannup, David Nolan, Adrian Stimson, Marcia Swaby, Judy Watson, Raymond Zada

Dean Cross

Ghost nets of the ocean
Ethel Charlie, Solomon Charlie, Marion Gaemers, Rachel Emma Gela, Sarah-Dawn Gela, Lynette Griffiths, Florence Gutchen, Lavinia Ketchell, Lorenzo Ketchell, Nancy Kiwat, Nancy Naawi, Racy Oui-Pitt, Alma Sailor, Ellarose Savage, Jimmy K. Thaiday, Jimmy J, Thaiday

Outside Man
Nyapuru William Gardiner

What if this photograph is by Albert Namatjira?
Benita Clements, Tiara Doolan, Kathleen France, Noreen Hudson, Clara Inkamala, Dellina Inkamala, Kathy Inkamala, Reinhold Inkamala, Vanessa Inkamala, Ricky Connick Jakamara, Lenie Namatjira, Gloria Pannka, Hubert Pareroultja, Ivy Pareroultja, Mervyn Rubuntja, Betty Wheeler, Marcus Wheeler

Jirrawun Collection
Goody Lilwayi Barrett, Rammey Ramsey, Phyllis Booljoonngali Thomas, Freddie Ngarrmaliny Timms

Yuta Mulkurr, New Minds
Mundatjngu Mununggurr, Gutingarra Yunupingu

Mugama Nganinya – make my way
Shirley Macnamara

Mangkaja Artists
Daisy Japulja, Sonia Kurarra, Ngarralja Tommy May, Tjigila Nada Rawlins, Lisa Uhl

Noŋgirrŋa Marawili

Saddened Were the Hearts of Many Men
Ricky Maynard

We are all animals/sheemu
Nicole Monks

Kent Morris

Arwengalker (Sugar Bag)
Josie Kunoth Petyarre

Sorry Mob and Bush Plum
Kwementyay (Gladdy) Kemarre

Shane Pickett

Patju Presley

Reko Rennie

Recalling the past
Andy Snelgar

Every face has a story, every story has a face: Kulila!
Trudy Inkamala, Roxanne Petrick, Dulcie Raggett, Marlene Rubuntja, Rosabella Ryder, Dulcie Sharpe, Rhonda Sharpe, Roxanne Sharpe, Valerie Stafford

Petrol been wasting all our lives
Cornelius Ebatarinja, Raymond Ebatarinja, Trudy Inkamala, Roxanne Oliver, Maurice Petrick, Roxanne Petrick, Sonya Petrick, Dulcie Raggett, Marlene Rubuntja, Mervyn Rubuntja, Rosabella Ryder, Dulcie Sharpe, Rhonda Sharpe with Jackson Lee, Cain Neale

Waŋupini (Cloud)
Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra, Ishmael Marika

Tarnanthi: Festival of 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