The Open Hands’ exhibition for the 2020 Tarnanthi Art Fair will celebrate the silent determination of Indigenous women in utilising art as a way of maintaining culture and channeling deep connections to Country.
Mikele Syron

26 Aug 2020 - 1:31 PM  UPDATED 1 Sep 2020 - 12:22 PM

The Art Gallery of South Australia will celebrate the strength and creativity of Indigenous women with its exhibition ‘Open Hands’ as the centrepiece to this year’s annual Tarnanthi Art Festival.

Opening in December, the Open Hands exhibition acknowledges the vital role women play in cultivating a cultural link for sharing knowledge across generations.

Curator Nici Cumpston told NITV News the exhibition will be a celebration of the strong and intergenerational bonds between women in the Indigenous community and the way art fosters those relationships.

“It’s really about celebrating the often unseen work that women are doing through the generations,' she said.

Ms Cumpston said the exhibition will also be an opportunity to proclaim the labour that women in these communities do to maintain culture and embed the practice of sharing knowledge and keeping stories alive.

The exhibition will also commemorate the act of making as a vessel for artists to channel deep connections to Country and culture.

The annual Tamanthi Art Festival has become one of the largest contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art festivals in Australia and provides a showcase for the diversity and depth of Indigenous art and the critical role it plays in the Australian art landscape.

Since its launch in 2015, over a million people have attended Tarnanthi exhibitions and events, and nearly 4,000 Indigenous artists have created and exhibited work with $3.4 million in profits going directly back into the communities via the artists and art centres.

This year, the Tarnanthi festival will launch its first international opening with an exhibition of new works by 34 artists from Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands that will occupy an entire floor of the Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes, France.

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