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Marking the Infinite

Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

Look Closer

Marking the Infinite

Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

Look Closer

Marking the Infinite

Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

Dates

November 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

Aboriginal women have been redrawing the boundaries of the contemporary Aboriginal art scene in Australia since the late 1980s, redefining a movement that continues today.

Their work resonates with vitality and relevance, their Indigenous ways of knowing the world captured in each brush stroke and woven thread. The strength of their vision is immediately evident in the works, asserting their authority like lightning bolts in the night sky.

From the vast to the minute, the subjects of the works range from distant celestial bodies to the tiny flowers of the native bush plum. They also encompass the day-to-day acts of their lives, from venerable craft traditions to women’s ceremonies. And though the subjects are drawn from the visible and natural world, they are not bound by it. The works invoke the infinite, challenging the very constraints and constructs of time and space.

Marking the Infinite features the work of nine Aboriginal women—Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu—each from different remote regions of Australia. They are revered matriarchs and celebrated artists who are represented in the collections of the Australian National Gallery. Most of them make their Canadian debut at MOA with this breathtaking exhibition.

The artists bring their ancient cultural knowledge into their contemporary artistic practice, and continue to create art to ensure their languages, land and knowledge survive in an increasingly digital world. Their works are steeped in the traditions of their communities and yet speak to the universal themes of our shared existence, revealing the continued relevance of Indigenous knowledge in understanding our time and place in this world.

 

We wish to advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers that this exhibition and webpage may contain images and voices of people who are deceased.
Photos credits L-R: 1. Carlene West, Tjitjiti, 2015. Collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl. © Carlene West, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project, Tjuntjuntjara. Photo by Sid Hoeltzell. 2. Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Women’s Ceremonies at Watanuma, 2007. Collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl. © Estate of Wintjiya Napaltjarri, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd., courtesy Papunya Tula Artists. Photo by Sid Hoeltzell. 3. Nonggirrnga Marawili, Lightning and the Rock, 2014. Collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl. © Nonggirrnga Marawili, courtesy Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala. Photograph by Sid Hoeltzell. 4. Wintjiya Napaltjarri with daughter Rubilee Napurrula, Kintore studio June 2013. Photo by Matt Frost, courtesy Papunya Tula Artists.