Tarnanthi 2020 – Open Hands

Celebrate with us the opening of Tarnathi 2020 in the Gallery of South Australia.

Tarnanthi 2020: Open Hands
Virtual Launch

The Art Gallery of South Australia invites you to be part of the virtual launch of Tarnanthi, our annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary art. Come on a virtual tour of the Tarnanthi 2020 exhibition Open Hands and hear from Tarnanthi artists across Australia.

Each year Tarnanthi’s launch is a joyful event where artists and art lovers come to Adelaide to share the excitement of seeing bold new works of contemporary Aboriginal art – but in 2020 we’re taking it to the artists, to Australia and to the world. Be part of this inspiring cultural celebration online.

virtual exhibition launch

This year Maruku is proud to present Niningka Lewis beautiful walka boards Ninningka’s Tjukurpa (2020) as part of the exhibition. They tell the story of her grandparents, parents and lead all the way to her grandchildren.

The walka boards depicts the story of my family, the way my grandparents lived, what happened when the first white people came to Anangu land, about the Maralinga bomb, how Mr. MacDougall helped, how life was when I was a little girl and how my children and grandchildren live today.
The boards show my life, my family’s life and the life of all Anangu on the lands. The first board depicts the life of my grandparents, how they travelled following the animals and the water. It shows our bush tucker and the change of the seasons and when to hunt which animals. I painted the stories that I was told from my mother about her life and my grandparents’ life.
My mother told me one day when I was a young girl that Anangu were in Australia long before white people came. She told me the story how Anangu travelled from the West to the East and how they were scarred seeing for the first time white people on camels. They thought they were Mamus (bad spirits) and tried to kill them with spears. I painted the first missionaries when they came and taught my family how to wear cloth the proper way and told Anangu to move to Ernabella. And Anangu moved from the West to the East.
The second board shows life when white people started living on the lands. I painted Ernabella mission when I was a child, how life was at the mission with the church and the ration house, and the beautiful flowers, long before buffel grass. I also burned into the board all the new dirt roads to all communities and when Mr. Mc (Mr. MacDougall) came to Warakurna with the Yellow truck for the first time and all Anangu started singing the song from the yellow flowers because the truck was yellow. Old people still sing sometimes the Mr. Mc song.
I painted the people who came and build a camp and fired the Maralinga bomb and how all life around us died. All Anangu got sick and trees and animals got poisoned, even far away. And I painted the houses for all the communities from East APY all the way to WA. That is where my children and grandchildren live today and the footprints are ours, they show the connection to our land, we are one and we teach our children and grandchildren to look after it, to keep it alive.