Shedding new light on contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art

Tarnanthi is an annual celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and a flagship program of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Its format alternates between a statewide festival in one year and a major focus exhibition the following year. Since its inception in 2015, Tarnanthi has placed particular emphasis on the agency of artists and on foregrounding the artist’s voice. It is a rare showcase for the nuanced complexity and radical ingenuity of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, reflecting the strength of First Nations cultures across Australia today.

In 2020, Tarnanthi will involve an inspiring focus exhibition highlighting the work of senior women artists whose work includes passing on vital cultural knowledge to young women as the future leaders of their communities. As a significant artist-led project, this exhibition of works in diverse media promises to deliver the richness of content and depth of substance that have been the hallmark of Tarnanthi’s earlier focus exhibitions, such as John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new in 2017 and Riverland: Yvonne Koolmatrie in 2015.

During Tarnanthi, AGSA will also host an extensive array of talks, tours, performances, workshops, creative activities and student programs. The Studio will also adopt a theme emphasising a feature of the exhibition.

Tarnanthi is presented in partnership with BHP and with the support of the Government of South Australia.

Principal Partner
  • BHP
Tarnanthi Art Fair

Naomi Kantjuri 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 on Tour

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