RMIT Focus on Indigenous culture: Ngarara Place & Streets of Papunya

The launch on May 30 of RMIT University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and opening the newly completed Indigenous Garden – “Ngarara Place” – on RMIT’s City campus has kept the focus firmly on Indigenous culture during the busy events as part of the current RMIT Gallery exhibition Streets of Papunya.

The launch of RMIT’s RAP and the opening of “Ngarara Place” featured special guest performer Dan Sultan to celebrate National Reconciliation Week on our City campus.

Dan delighted audiences when he performed at the November 2013 opening of the RMIT Gallery exhibition Music, Melbourne + Me.

The RAP and RMIT’s current endeavours in reconciliation are the culmination of a 25-year journey that the University is determined to continue into the future.

Likewise, the Streets of Papunya exhibition is part of RMIT Gallery’s long standing commitment to showing exhibitions of Indigenous artwork, and works by Indigenous artists. Here are some of the photos of the Streets of Papunya exhibition opening and public programs, which included visits by Papunya artists.

Indigenous art exhibitions at RMIT Gallery:

Streets of Papunya: The reinvention of Papunya painting

6 May – 11 June 2016

Celebrating the renaissance of painting that has occurred in one of the best-known locations of art production in Central Australia, since the establishment of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre in 2007.

Richard Bell: Imagining Victory

11 MARCH – 23 APRIL 2016

Leading Australian artist Richard Bell’s trilogy of video projects digs beneath the veneer of cultural integration to expose how racism can be deeply embedded and passed on to future generations. See the virtual tour of the exhibition.

Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning

15 SEPTEMBER – 08 NOVEMBER 2014

This exhibition included works by Gija artists, both past and present, which explored aspects of the rich and significant story Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming).

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo

15 SEPTEMBER – 08 NOVEMBER 2014

Warlayirti examined the aesthetic divergences and vibrancy that distinguishes the art of Balgo and the importance of Christianity to the Balgo community as a means of cross cultural communication.

RMIT Gallery’s special connection with Germany

A special meeting: (left to right) Mr Volkmar Klein, Chairman of the German-Australian-New Zealand Parliamentary Group, Member of German Parliament; Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery; Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

A special meeting: (left to right) Mr Volkmar Klein, Chairman of the German-Australian-New Zealand Parliamentary Group, Member of German Parliament; Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery; Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

RMIT Gallery Director and Chief Curator Suzanne Davies joined Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the German Parliament, and his delegation for dinner on Friday 31 October at Circa Restaurant in St Kilda.

Dr Lammert is President of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and has held this position for the past nine years. He ranks second only to the President of the Federal Republic. As President of the Bundestag Professor Lammert ensures that Parliament’s rules are upheld and represents Parliament in the public sphere.

Dr Arpad A. Sölter,  Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien, said the special get-together allowed an exchange of thoughts with the German MPs.

(left to right) Dr Arpad A. Sölter,  Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien and Ms Josephine Ridge, Artistic Director of the Melbourne Festival.

(left to right) Dr Arpad A. Sölter, Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien and Ms Josephine Ridge, Artistic Director of the Melbourne Festival.

RMIT and the Goethe-Institut have celebrated more than 35 years of successful collaboration. Ms Davies said that the beginnings of this partnership can even be traced to the early 1970’s, when most educational institutions in Australia were hungry for information and cultural exchanges with countries other than the UK. Since then RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut Melbourne, which was founded in 1972, have created an impressive visual presence of Germany in the heart of Melbourne.

“A key aspect of the early relationship between RMIT and the Goethe-Institut was
the combination of teaching design and fine arts with street front public access for exhibitions at Storey Hall, RMIT Gallery, particularly following its refurbishment in 1996,” she said.

Ms Davies said the partnership between RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut, and Ifa was finely matched and mutually rewarding.

“RMIT Gallery has introduced many leading European artists to Melbourne and facilitated workshops and skill exchange with photographers, designers, architects, town planners, musicians and gold and silversmiths over the past 30 years.” 

Recent collaborations include the successful exhibitions Ulm School of Design (2014); New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation (2012-2013) and Somewhat Different: Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention (2010).

Ms Davies said that next year RMIT Gallery would be the first venue for the new German touring exhibition Geniale Dilletanten (November 2015 – February 2016), which explores the short era of the West German artistic emergence from 1979 to 1989, an age of new ways and new expressions for all artists involved.

Characteristic for this was a broad approach to genres: musicians shot Super 8 mm films; painters played in bands or established clubs, which became incubators for the exploding Geniale Dilletanten [= Ingenious amateurs] scene – not only in Berlin, but also in Dusseldorf, Munich, Bonn, Rosenheim and Erlangen. The exhibition will include the work of Die Einstürzenden Neubauten featuring musician Blixa Bargeld, who produced unheard-of brute noise on their home-made instruments. 

Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

On Friday 31 October Professor Lammert gave a talk at RMIT in the Kaleide Theatre about Europe, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, hosted by the EU Centre at RMIT in conjunction with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria, the Goethe-Institut, Monash University and the University of Melbourne EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges.

Ms Davies said that Professor Lammert’s talk was really riveting and acutely insightful and praised the enlightened vision of the German government in relation to its support of the arts and culture as vital components of public diplomacy and the maintenance of a civil society.

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo exhibition tour: (left to right) Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery shows around Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag and Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo exhibition tour: (left to right) Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery shows around Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag and Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

After the talk, Ms Davies hosted the Professor Lammert and his delegation at RMIT Gallery and gave them a tour of the current exhibitions Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning and Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo and spoke to them about the vitality and contemporary resonance of Aboriginal art and culture.

 

 

Exhibition openings: Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo & Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning

 

John Tjapangarti [John Lewis] (c.1953) Camping as they travel along 1985 synthetic polymer paint on canvas board 50.8 x 60.9 cm Purchased for the Guy Grey-Smith Memorial Collection, 1986 State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia

John Tjapangarti [John Lewis] (c.1953)
Camping as they travel along 1985
synthetic polymer paint on canvas board
50.8 x 60.9 cm
Purchased for the Guy Grey-Smith Memorial Collection, 1986
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia

 Mr Tony Ellwood, Director National Gallery of Victoria, will open two new Aboriginal art exhibitions at RMIT Gallery at 6 pm on Monday 15 September. Free. All welcome.

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo (image above) will examine the aesthetic divergences and vibrancy that distinguishes the art of Balgo and the importance of Christianity to the Balgo community as a means of cross cultural communication.

Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning (image below) will include works by Gija artists, both past and present, which explore aspects of the rich and significant story Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming) which takes place on Yarin Country in Darrajayin, between Warmun and Halls Creek, in Western Australia. The telling, retelling and learning of these stories are powerful ways for this vast practical, intellectual and cultural legacy to be reproduced, passed on and reshaped.

The opening will take place in the presence of many of the the Most Rev Christopher A Saunders DD, Bishop of Broome, and artists from both exhibitions.

Mabel JULI  Born c.1932 Six Mile on Moolabulla Station, Western Australia Garnkiny Natural ochre and pigments on linen 180 X 120 cm Courtesy of Warmun Art Centre

Mabel JULI
Born c.1932 Six Mile on Moolabulla Station, Western Australia
Garnkiny
Natural ochre and pigments on linen
180 X 120 cm
Courtesy of Warmun Art Centre

 

Art of remote Australia coming to RMIT Gallery

WarlayirtiEvite

 

Please join us for the opening of two important Aboriginal art exhibitions at RMIT Gallery by Mr Tony Ellwood, Director National Gallery of Victoria on Monday 15 September, 2014, and for the 2014 Ursula Hoff Annual Lecture on ‘Aboriginal art centres: the good, the bad and the ugly’ at Storey Hall on 16 September.

Both events will take place in the presence of some of the artists represented in the exhibitions.

GarnkinyEvite

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo (6 September – Saturday 8 November) will examine the aesthetic divergences and vibrancy that distinguishes the art of Balgo and the importance of Christianity to the Balgo community as a means of cross cultural communication.
 
Balgo (Wirrimanu), Western Australia, in the midst of the Tanami desert is the ceremonial hub for several Indigenous clans from the Kimberley and Western Desert and is on the Luurnpa (kingfisher) Dreaming track – many of Australia’s most recognised Australian artists come from this region.

This exhibition brings together the church banners, as well as early and more recent work by the leading and emerging artists from Warlayirti Artists, one of the most successful art centres to emerge from remote area Australia.

Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning (6 September – Saturday 8 November) will include works by Gija artists, both past and present, which explore aspects of the rich and significant story Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming) which takes place on Yarin Country in Darrajayin, between Warmun and Halls Creek, in Western Australia.

The telling, retelling and learning of these stories are powerful ways for this vast practical, intellectual and cultural legacy to be reproduced, passed on and reshaped.

DETAILS 

Opening night Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo and Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning – Monday 15 September 2014, from  6-8 pm

Opening speaker: Mr Tony Ellwood, Director National Gallery of Victoria
Ursula Hoff Annual Lecture: Tuesday 16 September, RMIT Storey Hall. Free. All Welcome.

Topic: Aboriginal Art Centres: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Speakers: Dr Jacqueline Healy (Curator,Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo); Professor Ian McLean– academic and author; and Sister Alice Dempsey.

 

Bookings: (03) 9925 1717