‘North by North-West’ presents recent acquisitions and old favourites from the Gallery’s Indigenous Australian art collection, highlighting unique visual threads and continuities that traverse the top half of the continent.
From the Tiwi in the north to the Pitjantjatjara people of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the south, and across to the Gija and Bardi peoples from Warmun and Broome in the Kimberley region, ‘North by North-West’ celebrates the regionally specific styles of each Country. These characteristics have often stemmed from traditional body designs and cultural objects, which were shared or traded across borders. In this display, historic artworks are contextualised by contemporary reworkings of these traditional practices.
Particular attention is paid to the trade in artistic traditions and stories through songlines. Common motifs and ancestral stories are transformed across mediums through innovative explorations of form, symbol and texture.
Image: Kumantje Jagamara, Warlpiri/Luritja people, Australia c.1946‑2020 / Lightning 1998 / Synthetic polymer paint on linen canvas / 201 x 176.5cm / Purchased 1998. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Estate of Kumantje Jagamara/Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency