Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia surveys historical and contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across Australia.

Drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Arts, the works in this touring exhibition bridge time and place and are interconnected through story and experience.

Although Ever Present is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, it does not shy away from Australia’s complex histories. The works challenge stereotypes about First Nations people and what defines their art. The artists contest populist views of Australian history, using art as a tool of resistance and replacing physical weaponry with wit, satire and juxtaposition to confront viewers and to encourage conversations that are essential to dispute outdated myths and ideologies.

Ever Present includes the work of over 80 artists as it considers seven overarching and interlinked themes: Ancestors + Creators; Country + Constellations; Community + Family; Culture + Ceremony; Trade + Influence; Resistance + Colonisation; and Innovation + Identity. Together the works underline the ever-present existence of the First Peoples of Australia.

Australia Day 2022 Honours List

We extend a heartfelt congratulations to artist Lena Nyadbi on being awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to the visual arts as a contemporary Indigenous artist. Lena Nyadbi has earned an international reputation for her work, painting at Warmun Art Centre since 1998. She spent years learning her craft from Warmun artists, who taught her the techniques of grinding ochre and charcoal, and rubbing the charcoal into the canvas with her hands. Her stunning work Dayiwul Ngarankarni is currently on display in Ever Present.

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Ever Present celebrates the creativity, diversity, strength, resilience and pride of early and contemporary Indigenous artists highlighting their artistic, cultural, social and political expressions that reinforce their time immemorial connections and their ever present presence in this country.

Tina Baum
Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is a National Gallery Touring Exhibition in partnership with Wesfarmers Arts
and supported by the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts.

Ever Present partner logos

On Saturday 27 August, the Gallery is open 10am-3pm only as we prepare for the AGWA Foundation Gala supporting women in the arts. Some exhibition access will be disrupted with two Tracks We Share ground floor galleries closed. AGWA Rooftop bar will be closed, reopening at 2pm Sunday. Details