Significant Indigenous art acquisition for QAGOMA

The Morrison Government will provide $600,000 over three years to support the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) to acquire seven Papunya boards painted in the first critical years of Australia’s contemporary Aboriginal art movement.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said the Federal Government is pleased to support QAGOMA’s acquisition of these culturally and historically significant Papunya boards from the Central Desert region.

“QAGOMA is dedicated to showcasing historical and contemporary Indigenous Australian art and reflecting the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This acquisition guarantees this important set of paintings are retained in Australia and can be showcased for locals and visitors alike to study and enjoy,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Purchased from the Ian Rogers Collection in Melbourne, the seven boards represent the work of the founding artists of the Papunya Tula Art Movement in the Northern Territory, which began in 1971. Collections of this nature and quality are rare, making this an exceptional acquisition for QAGOMA.”

The seven Papunya board paintings are:

  1. Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Untitled (Euro Dreaming Ceremony), 1972
  2. Uta Uta Tjangala, Tjitiji Kutjarra at Yawarrankunya (Two Boys Dreaming), 1972
  3. Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula, Women’s ceremony in a cave, 1971
  4. Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Bushfire Corroboree, 1973
  5. Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri,'Tingari' Cycle Dreaming Journey, 1972
  6. Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa, Untitled (Goanna Story), 1971
  7. Charlie Tarawa (Wartuma) Tjungurrayi, The Importance of Fire, 1973

Chris Saines, Director, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) said the Gallery was extremely pleased to have acquired the rare works.

“These works, created in early 1970s, are regarded as some of Australia’s most treasured cultural, historical and artistic assets. They provide a window on those first critical years of what has now become known as the contemporary Aboriginal art movement.

“The works are currently on display at the Queensland Art Gallery and make an extraordinary addition to QAGOMA’s holdings of Indigenous Australian art,” Mr Saines said.

The acquisition of the Papunya Boards for QAGOMA is supported through the Australian Government’s National Cultural Heritage Account. QAGOMA will contribute $400,000.

The National Cultural Heritage Account helps keep items of cultural significance in Australia so they can be preserved and made available to the public. Public cultural organisations can apply for funding to purchase, preserve and provide permanent public access to these items.

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Media contact:

Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 |

Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 |