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.
Till 31 July, 2022
As an excellent bonus, the NGA will also be hosting Ceremony, curated by Hetti Perkins, Arrernte and Kalkadoon peoples, which is the fourth iteration of the National Indigenous Art Triennial until the end of July, 2022.
Art Gallery of Western Australia AGWA
Till January 2022
Everyone loves a rooftop venue and the AGWA has just opened an incredible one with a stellar exhibition. The View From Here features 200 artists from graffiti writers, urban sculptors and filmmakers to the more traditional mediums in a celebration of Western Australian art.
Till 18 April 2022
Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is a touring exhibition on loan from the national Gallery of Australia. This collection covers both historical and contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across Australia.
Art Gallery of South Australia
Till 30th January 2022
Get in to Tarnanthi before it closes just after Australia Day. This festival of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art features the work of nearly 1000 artists. It brings together artists of all ages, from all over the country and using all mediums – from painting and sculpture through to immersive experiences.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
Ningina tunapri means “to give knowledge and understanding” and that’s exactly what TMAG’s Tasmanian Aboriginal culture gallery will provide you with when you stop by for a look.
Till 20th February 2022
TMAG will play host to the absolutely iconic paintings of Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series. These narrative works are Nolan’s own evocative and moving portrayal of Australia’s most famous bushranger and the landscape around him.
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.
Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA)
Till 21 February
Sometimes you want to see something a little more specific. On the bank on the brink is a collection of drawings by Aboriginal artist Tommy McRae, who lived in the 19th-century alongside newer works by Mia Boe and Phil Murray.
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?