Regional Arts NSW
Skip to content

MAMA | 'Primavera at 25' & 'Being Tiwi'

exhibition launches

Image: Danie Mellor, ‘Native Gold’, 2008, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney. Image courtesy of Tourism Australia.
Join MAMA to celebrate the opening of Primavera at 25: MCA Collection and Being Tiwi on Friday 28 April, 5:30 – 7:00pm.

The exhibitions will be opened by Blair French, Director, Curatorial and Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, with a Welcome to Country offered by Aunty Nancy Rook, Wiradjuri Elder.

A performative action, staged as part of Agatha Goethe-Snape’s work Emotional Wall with Everything Else 2012 – 2013, will be presented during the opening.

The opening event is free, but RSVP is essential.

Primavera at 25: MCA Collection

Primavera is the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s annual exhibition dedicated to showcasing the work of young Australian artists.

Primavera at 25: MCA Collection celebrates twenty-five years of the Primavera exhibition. Taking this significant milestone as a departure point, Primavera at 25 brings together works from the MCA Collection by 22 artists and artist groups, who had previously exhibited in Primavera, that explore ideas of transformation, time and history.

Some artworks – by Nell, Rebecca Baumann, Gemma Smith and Ross Manning – appear to transform in front of our eyes, shape shifting to create new forms.

Time is explored by Tim Silver and Emma White in works that record time, mark set intervals or deliberately age; whilst Simon Yates, Sangeeta Sandrasegar and Heather Douglas draw upon personal and shared memories.

Nicholas Mangan, Danie Mellor, Pedro Wonaeamirri and Constanze Zikos consider our relationship to the past by their use of classical motifs and forms, reflect on our cultural histories or reinterpret traditional designs using contemporary materials. The collective known as Barbara Cleveland perform historic works reinterpreting them for contemporary audiences.

Primavera was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda, a talented jeweller who died at the age of 29.

Primavera at 25 is organised and toured by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Being Tiwi

Being Tiwi brings together prints and paintings by nine artists from Australia’s Tiwi Islands. Located to the north of Darwin in the Northern Territory at the juncture of the Arafura and Timor seas, Bathurst and Melville islands are home to the Tiwi people – the fiercely independent, culturally unique, traditional owners of the land. ‘Tiwi’ loosely translates as ‘one people’, and island culture is characterised by a shared belief in the need to keep Tiwi customs alive.

The artworks in Being Tiwi highlight how contemporary ideas and visual forms connect to and express transformations in culture. Tiwi motifs and designs (known as Jilamara) draw on a range of influences, the most important being the body painting which accompanies two significant Tiwi ceremonies: Kulama, which celebrates life, and Pukumani, a complex funereal ritual.

Bridging the past and the present, Being Tiwi includes the first prints produced on the islands in 1969 along with work recently acquired for the MCA Collection and new work commissioned specifically for the exhibition. From the intricate to the gestural, and using yellow, red and white ochres sourced from the islands’ environs, these artworks highlight the distinctiveness of Tiwi iconography.

Being Tiwi is organised and toured by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. The exhibition is supported by the Visions regional touring program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to cultural material for all Australians.
For more information visit the website.