Sentient lands

Australia has been shaped and defined by the past actions of ancestors, who remain a dynamic presence within the land. Drawn from the Gallery’s collection, the works in this exhibition speak of the complex, ongoing attachments to country held by Aboriginal people.

Art Exhibition previously on at Art Gallery of New South Wales in New South Wales, Australia.
From Saturday 04 June 2016 to Sunday 01 January 2017

Sentient lands image

Published by Art Gallery of New South Wales on Monday 09 May 2016.
Contact the publisher.

Considers the diversity of ancestors who inhabit and enliven country

Included are sculptural representations of Mimih, Purukapali and the Djang’kawu – important figures who take human form in particular areas of northern Australia – alongside images of the Wanka (spider) and Kanpaarka (centipede) that are drawn from the desert regions. There are also more abstracted depictions whose optical effects capture the movement and reverberations that are enacted across country by such forces as the Tingari.

Many of these works can be considered self-portraits, such is the attachment between their maker and those to whom they are giving visual form. As artist Emily Kam Ngwarray famously exclaimed, ‘I am the yam’.