The 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony

The 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony presents work by thirty-five contemporary First Nations artists from across Australia as they explore how ceremonial acts continue to be a prevalent forum for artmaking in First Nations communities today. Curator Hetti Perkins, Arrernte and Kalkadoon peoples, says:

Ceremony is testament that our culture has survived – not only over the many thousands of years but, particularly, the last couple of hundred years – because of its capacity for innovation and adaptability.”

Dylan River, Kaytetye people, Untitled (Bungalow), 2022. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra for the ‘4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony’ with the support of the American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia with the assistance of the Christopher and Francesca Beale Private Foundation. © and courtesy the artist

This immersive National Gallery of Australia (NGA) touring exhibition and program of events challenges and unsettles; animates and heals. “The idea of artists as ‘radical agents’ is central to Ceremony with works that are active, works that are activist, works that activate,” adds Perkins.

This exhibition and program of events reveal how ceremony is at the nexus of Country, culture and community. From the intimate and personal to the collective and collaborative, ceremonies manifest through visual art, film, music, and dance. Ceremonial practice has a performative element. At its heart is the concept of iteration, the artist’s conscious engagement with what has come before. Iteration can be expressed in the painted minutiae of tali (sandhills) or the click of a shutter.

In August, the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony heads to UQ Art Museum in Brisbane.

Artists include:

Robert Andrew, Joel Bray, Kunmanara Carroll, Penny Evans, Nicole Foreshew and Boorljoonngali, Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra, Hayley Millar Baker, Mantua Nangala, S.J Norman, Dylan River, Darrell Sibosado, Andrew Snelgar, James Tylor, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists and Tangentyere Artists, and Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu.

Site-specific artworks by Robert Fielding, Dr Matilda House and Paul Girrawah House, and Joel Spring also formed an important part of the exhibition when it was displayed in the NGA. These works are unable to be included in the exhibition tour, but visitors can learn more about them through the exhibition documentation that will be on display.


Touring dates:

UQ Art Museum 
27 August to 26 November 2022

Shepparton Art Museum
18 December 2022 to 26 February 2023

Araluen Arts Centre
11 March to 12 June 2023
Northern Territory

Samstag Museum of Art
7 October to 8 December 2023
South Australia

Western Plains Cultural Centre
20 January to 12 May 2024
New South Wales

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