NGA and Wesfarmers Announce $4M Partnership and Major International Exhibition



The National Gallery of Australia and longstanding Indigenous Arts partner, Wesfarmers Arts, today announced a new six-year, $4 million partnership which includes a major international touring exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait art in Asia. The exhibition, Indigenous Australian Masterpieces, launches in 2020.

The international exhibition will be co-curated between the organisations and respective collections and travel to Singapore and cities in China. The exhibition will show rare works from the 1800s through to Albert Namatjira’s renowned watercolours, the dynamic Papunya movement, and contemporary works of Australia’s best artists. The project will be an Indigenous-led and developed initiative – providing an opportunity for alumni of the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Arts Leadership Program to work on the international stage.

The project also involves the commissioning of a major new work of art that will be gifted to the National Gallery of Australia and offered to international exhibition collaborators. The new partnership builds on an exceptional program of supporting Indigenous art exhibitions and arts professionals over the last eight years.

In addition to the touring exhibition, Wesfarmers will support the development of:
• a new digital platform that celebrates and promotes Indigenous art and culture;
• video content to grow audiences and share stories related to the partnership presentation of the National Indigenous Art Triennial;
• year-round Indigenous events and programming that seek to educate and inspire audiences and build Indigenous community engagement with the NGA;
• growing and strengthening the leadership, scholarship and fellowship programs to increase Indigenous participation in the arts sector in Australia and internationally in collaboration with global museum partners.

‘We are grateful and honoured to grow our partnership with Wesfarmers who have shown that generosity and leadership in the arts can make a major difference in the cultural lives of Australians,’ said Nick Mitzevich, NGA Director.

‘Wesfarmers is very pleased to be deepening its long-term commitment with the National Gallery of Australia so we can continue to promote and celebrate the culture of our First Peoples and take their stories to the world,’ said Rob Scott, Wesfarmers Managing Director.

Since 2009 the NGA’s partnership with Wesfarmers Arts has seen visitors in seven cities enjoy the National Indigenous Art Triennials; 84 Indigenous arts professionals graduate from leadership and fellowship programs; millions access online content; and hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to Canberra to experience the most comprehensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection in the world.

Megan Reeder Hope

Communications Manager National Gallery of Australia

Cathy Bolt
Media and External Affairs Manager
0417 813804