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 by the Art Gallery of South Australia with Principal Partner BHP and support from the Government of South Australia.

Principal Partner
  • BHP
Open Hands
16 Oct 2020 - 31 Jan 2021

Sonja Carmichael, Ngugi/Quandamooka people, South East Queensland, born 1958, Brisbane, Elisa Jane Carmichael, Ngugi/Quandamooka people, South East Queensland, born 1987, Brisbane, Yagabili wunjayi (make today), 2019, Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Queensland, cyanotype on cotton, 240.0 x 270.0 cm; Courtesy the artists and Onespace Gallery, © Elisa Jane and Sonja Carmichael/Onespace Gallery, photo: Grant Hancock.

Tarnanthi Art Fair
4-6 Dec 2020

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 on Tour
From 16 Oct 2020

Barbara Mbitjana Moore, Anmatyerre people, born Ti Tree, Northern Territory 1964, Ngayuku ngura – My Country, 2020, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 200 x 300 cm; Courtesy Tjala Arts