Exhibition from Janet Holmes à Court Collection Opens at QAG
An exhibition of more than 100 artworks from the esteemed Janet Holmes à Court Collection opens at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) from tomorrow until 22 October 2017.
'Sung into Being: Aboriginal Masterworks 1984–94' is exclusive to QAG and includes paintings and sculptures by eight Australian Aboriginal artists including Rover Joolama Thomas (c.1926–1998), Jack Wunuwun (1930–91), John Bulunbulun (1946–2010), Jack Kalakala (1925–87), Les Mirrikkuriya (1932–95), England Bangala (1925–2001) and Terry Ngamandara Wilson (1950–2011).
QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said Janet Holmes à Court would be in Brisbane for the official opening of the exhibition and to give a talk about her esteemed collection with exhibition curator Diane Moon, Curator of Indigenous Fibre Art, QAGOMA, from 11.30am tomorrow.
‘We are thrilled Janet has been able to travel across from Western Australia to help us celebrate the opening of this wonderful exhibition that draws into focus aspects of her extraordinary collection.'
‘After so generously loaning us these works Janet will also share with us her experiences of collecting these works by leading artists from the Kimberley and Arnhem Land during an intensely productive and exciting period when Indigenous Australian art first began to be exhibited as fine art.’
Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said ‘Sung into Being’ was exclusive to Queensland and another rich addition to QAGOMA’s exhibition program and to the Cultural Precinct’s vibrant calendar.
‘I am thrilled Queensland will be hosting this free exhibition that provides a wonderful opportunity for our local audiences, as well as our many visitors, to experience some of the most important and transformative works in Indigenous Australian art.'
From 1.30pm tomorrow Bob Burruwal, a member of the Maningrida community will join Diane Moon for a floor talk exploring the works of artists Jack Kalakala and Les Mirrikkuriya featured in the exhibition.
The floor talk (interpreted by Lena Yarinkura, also from Maningrida) will be preceded by a special performance by Bob Burruwal and Owen Yalanja.
Diane Moon said the paintings and sculptures in ‘Sung into Being’ were acquired with great foresight by Janet and her late husband Robert Holmes à Court.
‘These works express an intimate knowledge of the artist’s clan lands and the collection exists in its entirety as a great Australian cultural legacy.’
Ms Moon said ‘Sung into Being’ gave particular focus to renowned figure Rover Thomas.
‘Thomas was one of the first Indigenous Australian artists acquired for the Holmes à Court Collection. He forged new conventions in Aboriginal art and created new opportunities for the east Kimberley school of artists,’ Ms Moon said.
‘Sung into Being’ also includes two important series of paintings by brothers-in-law Jack Wunuwun (1930–91) and John Bulunbulun (1946–2010), depicting their clan manikay (song cycles). Other highlights in the exhibition are England Bangala’s dynamic paintings that feature mythological events and the wangarr (spirits) that created his lands.
The exhibition is supported by the Gallery’s new Hotel Partner, Art Series Hotel Group, and Wine Partner, Yering Station.