11 May – mid-February 2019
Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery | Level 2
The first exhibition in our new Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery, Body Language explores the identity of Australia’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Through story, dance, song, kinship, carvings, painting and markings on bodies and objects, it seeks to highlight the rich complexity of Australia’s Indigenous cultural expression.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people language is fundamental to the expression of culture and identity. Language is embedded in Indigenous oral traditions and in patterns and designs, as means of keeping stories alive through the generations.
Body Language showcases a diverse range of mediums that convey the ways in which Indigenous Australians communicate. As highlighted in the works on display, symbols record and retain important information. Combined in different ways they communicate stories or directions to those who can read them.
The exhibition includes artists widely dispersed throughout Australia and shows that language—both verbal and visual—is key to identity. Body Language features bilingual written material supporting the works that was produced in consultation with the artists and their communities.
The Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery will embody our commitment to offer meaningful art experiences to all our visitors, including the many children and their families who will be able to interact with material specially designed to appeal to younger audiences.
Vernon Ah Kee (Kuku Yalanji, Yidinji, Waanyi, Gugu Yimithirr and Koko Berrin peoples) Can’t chant (wegrewhere) #2 2009, purchased 2009
The National Gallery wishes to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and countries that are represented in this exhibition. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and future.
Every Saturday and Sunday
10am – 5pm
Free | all ages (children to be accompanied)
Join us for creative making activities for everyone, inspired by the Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery exhibition and as well as other works of art on display and artist projects. All materials provided.
Damien Shen (Ngarrindjeri people) and Richard Lyons Ventral aspect of a male #1 2014, purchased 2016