Indigenous storytelling through art is one important way our First Nations people share their history. For almost three decades, we’ve been proud to help create a world-class space for Indigenous artists to share their stories through the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards – also known as Telstra NATSIAA.
We believe it is an important part of Australian society to share ideas and culture through artistic expression, in all its diverse forms.
Working with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) to display Indigenous culture through artwork and storytelling in the Telstra NATSIAA, we believe in a vision for an inclusive Australia where all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected and empowered to thrive. It is with the deepest respect that we support this long-running and prestigious awards program.
This year’s Telstra NATSIAAs see 65 incredible Indigenous artists representing their individual nations to tell stories through various creative endeavours as part of Australia’s most prestigious and longest-running Indigenous art awards.
Indigenous art carries extraordinary power and beauty, and as our CEO Andy Penn has said, it’s important that we’re inspired to see the world differently during these often-challenging times. Staying connected to each other and our shared history through art is more important than ever.
As part of this year’s NATSIAA awards, artists have once again expressed their unique and moving stories through a range of artistic representations. Indigenous artists are reinventing traditional forms and materials to share personal and thought-provoking stories through works we’re proud to elevate and share including:
IIliam Nargoodah from Fitzroy Crossing, WA, who is reviving the traditional craft of making knives by hand. From the blades to the handle, he crafts every part of the knife and his work demonstrates an extraordinary level of skill and mastery of his materials. His dedication and enthusiasm have seen him mastering welding and forging of this rare medium and attracting acclaim for reviving this ancient tradition.
Art veteran and former NATSIAA winner, Betty Kuntiwa Pumani joins her daughter Marina to create a spectacular collaborative work. The piece is a moving celebration of intergenerational learning and the transfer of knowledge among Indigenous women. In this special collaboration, Marina picks up Betty’s mark and develops it into her own contemporary version of the stories she has been taught by the strong women in her family. Both women live in Mimili, a remote community in the APY Lands of South Australia.
Jewellery maker Krystal Hurst from Canberra, ACT, says her NATSIAA artwork is inspired by her grandmother and ancestors before her. Krystal worked to create a piece that would make her feel strong and proud of the women in her family. She wanted to remind her ‘mob’ who they were and who they were connected to. The layered pippy shells are threaded with seaweed beads to represent the many generations of Worimi women and the continuation of their knowledge and strength passed on to the younger generation.
Reimagining the NATSIAA ceremony
Sadly, social distancing measures mean the much-loved evening of celebration for the awards on the MAGNT front lawn won’t be going ahead this year, but together with the MAGNT we are proud to present the details of our reimagined awards ceremony for audiences right across the country to enjoy this year.
From 6pm AEST, Friday 7 August, Gamilaroi woman and TV presenter Brooke Boney will announce the seven winners of the 2020 Telstra NATISAAs, including the coveted Telstra Art Award, in an online ceremony broadcast which can be viewed at natsiaa.com.au.
As MAGNT Director Marcus Schutenko says, the reimagined awards ceremony enables Telstra NATISAA to reach an even broader audience, giving the winning artists and finalists the acknowledgement they deserve.
Of this year’s 65 finalists, 25 hail from the Northern Territory; 16 from both South Australia and Western Australia, and eight from Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victoria. Additionally, eleven of our finalists are emerging artists, and have been practicing for less than five years.
We congratulate every finalist in the 2020 Telstra NATSIAA program:
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Billy Yunkurra Atkins
John Prince Siddon
Ngarralja Tommy May
Rosie Tarco King
Adrian Jangala Robertson
Don Nakidilinj Namundja
Doris Bush Nungarrayi
Joanne Napangardi Wheeler
Paul Namarinjmak Nabulumo
Raelene Kerinauia Lampuwatu
Siena Mayutu Wurmarri Stubbs
Betty Kuntiwa Pumani and Marina Pumani Brown
Nyurpaya Kaika Burton
Peter Mungkuri and Alec Baker
Tjala Women’s Collaborative
Jimmy K Thaiday – Torres Strait Islands