Ever-Present: Recent Works from the SAM Collection

3 Mar 2018 - 7 Apr 2019

Ever-present speaks to the spirit of Country, to the myriad of ways it permeates life, informs lore, traditions and ceremonies. It explores the interdependence of land and peoples, revealing the resilience of cultures that has sustained and continues to be a way of being since time immemorial.

Showcasing works from the SAM Collection including recent acquisitions, this exhibition spans a variety of media: from painting and ceramics to basket-making. Each work impresses a deep knowing and sense of belonging to the artists’ sovereign home.

Ever-present reveals a number of interwoven themes. Angelina George and Albert Namatjira reveal the interconnectedness of spirit and Country. Julie Dowling depicts matriarchal kinships and intergenerational knowledge; while Angelina Ngal celebrates sustenance and survival through representations of bush plants, a source of food and healing. Vera Cooper’s ceramic egg-form alludes to the life-cycles of birth, death and re-birth, echoed by Lorraine Babui, Tunga (bark baskets) from the Tiwi Islands, also in the exhibition. Mapping and Dreaming are presented by Western Desert painters, Katarra Nampitjinpa and Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. Danie Mellor takes a contemporary approach to traditional forms, reinterpreting boomerangs and shields which he casts from reclaimed steel shipping trunks. Each of these works evokes journeys, migration and displacement, reconciling the past while sustaining connectedness into the future.

Featuring: Lorraine Babui, Benjamin Landara, Shauna Colin, Vera Cooper, Julie Dowling, Walter Ebatarinja, Tanya Flower, Sally Gabori, Angelina George, Rupert Jack, Mary Jo Kantilla, Danie Mellor, Mary Milgurr, Richard Moketarinja, the Hermannsburg Potters, Albert Namatjira, Nancy Naninurra, Angelina Ngal, Tiger Palpatja, Edwin Pareroultja, Dr Gloria Thanacoupie (Thanakupi), Mary Tjaatju, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Long Tom Tjapanangka and more.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are advised that this exhibition may contain images of people who have since passed away.

Image: Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, King Alfred’s Country, 2007, synthetic polymer on linen, 153 x 101 cm, donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Carrillo Gantner AO, 2017 © Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda/Licensed by Viscopy, 2017, photo: Amina Barolli.