Celebrating and appreciating local artists and artworks is something everyone can do and enjoy on Australia Day.
Our exquisite melting pot heritage gives Australian artists a diverse range of viewpoints, media and styles to draw on and blend together.
In particular, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks are highly valued at home in Australia as well as around the world. They hold indigenous knowledge and are highly sought after not only for their beauty but also their representation of country, culture, language and tradition. They can create a living 65,000-year-old connection to the past – but can also reflect the experience of our modern world.
In short: Australian artists are amazing and you should go experience them.
There are heaps of excellent places to see local art, ranging from public museums to incredible art centres. We’ve listed a few below!
The Inkalak Arts Centre in Arnhem Land officially opened in November 1989. In the years since, they have been servicing Aboriginal artists living in remote communities – creating an incredible living, changing gallery that you couldn’t exist anywhere else.
Visits by appointment on public holidays.
The National Gallery of Australia
Our very own National Gallery of Australia is the premier place to discover the works of Australian artists from the traditional to the contemporary. It boasts the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander art.
Cressida Campbell – Till 19 February 2023
Contemporary woodblock paintings and prints that capture the overlooked beauty of the everyday. Cressida Campbell is inspired by what’s around her – everything from colours to houses and gardens. Explore landscapes through her unique Australian lens.
Art Gallery of Western Australia AGWA
I have not loved (enough or worked) – Till 23 April 2023
This exhibition brings together the works of Hai-Hsin Huang, Daisuke Kosugi, Pixy Liao, Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223), Rinko Kawauchi, Sejin Kim, Lieko Shiga and Tao Hui. With the use of video, photography, painting and sculpture, these bodies of work speak to the ways people are fragile and finite. It’s a chance to explore our cultural experiences of love and longing, loneliness and loss.
Art Gallery of South Australia
Recent Acquisitions – till 16 April 2023
This exhibition questions our relationship with the land we’re on: Is landscape an exhausted genre or can it express a new way of being, one that is reconciled with the past yet with a keen eye on our environmental future? And how can the work of First Nations artists help to connect us to Country?
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda’s Spectra employs large scale installations of white light to illustrate the purity of transformation within environment and the self. His work provokes a feeling of something indescribable and unforgettable.
Oceans of Air – Till 24 July 2023
Oceans of Air is the meeting point of nature, architecture, engineering, history and technology. Artist Tomás Saraceno weaves together science, art and craft into an exhibition featuring air samples from across Australia, dust from the museum and more.
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Melbourne Museum)
When you think of Bunjilaka, think of “creation place” because that’s the name itself was designed to mean by the local Aboriginal people of the Boonwurrun and Woi Wurrung groups. This permanent exhibition is a mix of both art and the interactive, get amongst it.
Art Gallery of NSW
Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island – Till 29 January 2023
Lay eyes on over 80 works from Daniel Boyd’s two-decade career. This exhibition celebrates the interconnected histories of First Nations peoples, exploring various historical stories and references through an idiosyncratic painting technique.
Dreamhome: Stories of Art and Shelter – Till late 2023
29 artists from Australia show what their meaning of home is. This exhibition is set across a series of rooms and transports you to different spaces and landscapes.
Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
With a fabulous catalogue that brings together Australian historical and contemporary art, QAGOMA also holds claim to the most significant collection of Indigenous Australian fibre art around the country. Think printmaking, natural materials and more.
Want to discover more this Australia Day?