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Collection Focus gallery, Level 5, Te PapaPrevious Exhibition
The main thing I’d like Ngapaki [non-indigenous people] to understand is that our art ... is informed by our ancient traditions and the culture that is our life.
Djambawa Marawili, Chairperson of the Association of Northern, Kimberley, and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists
Gifted features works from Te Papa’s extraordinary Aboriginal art collection – a generous gift from the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council in 1976.
The collection, comprising over 200 works, marks the Board’s bold vision of the 1970s and 80s. That vision was to show Aboriginal art – which was treated indifferently in Australia at the time – as world class and spectacularly diverse.
Also on display are more recent works. These reveal the emergence of urban-based Australian indigenous artists since the 1970s, and the growing recognition of indigenous artists in the contemporary art world.
Our thanks to Aboriginal art scholar Brenda L Croft for her curatorial knowledge and advice in developing this exhibition, and to Vivien Johnson for her research into Te Papa’s Papunya Tula paintings.
We respectfully advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands people that Gifted includes the works and names of deceased people and may cause distress.