Transcending tradition: celebrating NAIDOC

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Above: Curator Miah Madden with Vessels Transcending Tradition, exhibition view, 2024. Photo: Amy Piddington

Australian Design Centre rests on Gadigal Land and takes pride in working with many Indigenous artists, artworkers and community members. Currently, in collaboration with the National Indigenous Art Fair, ADC is presenting Vessels: Transcending Tradition, a celebration of the rich tapestry of Indigenous object-based artistry.

This exhibition, curated by ADC First Nations Programs Coordinator Miah Madden, honours the vibrant and profound creative practices of some of the most respected Indigenous Art Centres across Australia, including Barkly Regional Arts, Bula’bula Arts, Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts, Injalak Arts, Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association.


Bird carvings by Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association COTA, left to right: Tjurukukuni (Owl), Nathan Pilakui; Tjurukukuni, Walter Brooks; Tjurukukuni, Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri; Tokwampini, the bird, Geraldine Pilakui; Tokwampini, Pius Tipungwuti. Established in 1989, Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association is owned and governed by Tiwi Artists from the Milikapiti community on Melville Island. Photos: Amy Piddington

Vessels unveils a curated collection of artworks that hold deep cultural significance and tell stories. The featured artists are custodians of their respective cultural heritages, each expressing a unique artistic language that bridges revered traditions and modern-day realities.


Weaving hands Photo: Courtesy of Bula’bula Arts

From the intricate carvings of Gapuwiyak Arts to the ‘Bush Handbags’ of Barkly Arts, the exhibition celebrates a wide array of mediums and techniques, each artwork narrating the distinctive voice of its creator. The artworks transcend traditional ideals of Indigenous art, celebrating the spiritual, material, and ecological wisdom that has been passed down through generations of the artists’ lineage.


Carving process Photo: Courtesy of Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts

Their works are vessels of history, knowledge, and identity, offering an intimate glimpse into the profound relationship between the artists and their ancestral lands. Vessels: Transcending Tradition is on display at Australian Design Centre until 20 July, 2024.

The works in this exhibition are available for purchase. More information at here

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