• Artist Robert Fielding. (Meg Hansen Photography)Source: Meg Hansen Photography
The main prize is $50,000, and six others come in at $5000 each - but for many artists it's about the recognition, not the money.
Madeline Hayman-Reber

24 Apr 2020 - 4:02 PM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2020 - 4:02 PM

Almost 70 artists have been selected as finalists for the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, with winners to be announced on August 7.

Among those selected across various artistic mediums is well renowned artist Robert Fielding, who told NITV News that he is proud to have been selected for the fourth time.

"I'm so proud of exhibiting my work alongside the masters and the grand masters of our country, and to see that your work is being seen in that perspective," Mr Fielding said.

"And how it's grown in different media and different ways of showcasing your work and to be shortlisted with the 2020 people, and indigenous people, and countrymen and First Nations."

The main prize is the Telstra Art Award, which comes in at $50,000, as well as six other awards worth $5,000 each and spread across categories of bark painting, general painting, works on paper, a memorial award, multimedia, and emerging artist.

"The grand masters and the matriarchs, and the patriarchs and the uprising and emerging artists and they having this platform now of recognition of who they are," Mr Fielding said.

"It's about how they can showcase all that beauty in one space at one time and that the art is totally different for everybody, but it is one storyline. It's about who we are as Aboriginal people."

Another talented young artist whose work you can expect to see is Jenna Lee. Entering for the first time, she is stoked to be featured alongside her uncles.

"I think for me, it's like mostly about being kind of validated, probably not the right word. But you know, knowing that other people are interested in the work that I'm making is really nice," Ms Lee said.

"Because I do want to keep making and I will keep making it so it's nice to know that it kind of resonates with other people."

The works will be shown at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory from August 8 - January 31, 2021. You can view a full list of the nominees by visiting the NATSIAA website.