EVER PRESENT: First Peoples Art of Australia
27th May – 25th September 2022
National Gallery of Australia
Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia surveys historical and contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across Australia. Drawn from the national collection and Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art, the works included in this exhibition bridge time and place and are interconnected through story and experience.
Although Ever Present is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, it does not shy away from Australia’s complex histories. The works challenge stereotypes about First Nations people and what defines their art. The artists contest populist views of Australian history, using art as a tool of resistance and replacing physical weaponry with wit, satire and juxtaposition to confront viewers and to encourage conversations that are essential to dispute outdated myths and ideologies.
Ever Present includes the work of over 80 artists as it considers seven overarching and interlinked themes: Ancestors + Creators; Country + Constellations; Community + Family; Culture + Ceremony; Trade + Influence; Resistance + Colonisation; and Innovation + Identity.
Together the works underline the ever-present existence of our First Peoples.