Sentient Portraits

Beth Mbitjana Inkamala, Hermannsburg Days, 2019, (detail) terracotta and underglazes. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mollie Douglas Bequest Fund 2019. © Beth Mbitjiana Inkamala. 197.2019 

When Country is acknowledged as a living entity, can a painting of Country be considered a portrait?
 
To challenge the way portraits are usually defined in art museums, we’ve asked Indigenous artists with works on display in the Gallery to speak about their art as part of Archie Plus.

These audio recordings reveal two forms of knowledge. As interviews with makers, they outline the artists’ interests and the histories and character of their subjects. They also describe landscapes or significant sites, revealing the artist’s personal relationships with Country and the living energies that define it.

Coby Edgar, Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art commissioned Sentient Portraits for Archie Plus, a celebration of portraiture and the power of community.

Rona Panangka Rubuntja on Kwatja (water) in the Finke River 

Rona PanangkaRubuntja, Kwatja (water) in the Finke River 2019, terracotta and underglazes. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mollie Douglas Bequest Fund 2019 © Rona Panangka Rubuntja. 199.2019    

Rona  Panangka  Rubuntja
b1970
Western Aranda/Auslan, Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Central Desert region
Recorded in 2020
Courtesy the artist and Hermannsburg Potters

Wally Wilfred on After the Rescue 

Wally Wilfred, After the Rescue, 2020 , (detail) mixed media installation, pictured in the Grand Courts of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Courtesy the artist and Ngukurr Arts . © Wally Wilfred 

Wally Wilfred
b1958
Wagilak, Arnhem reion; Ngukurr, Gulf region
Recorded in 2020
Courtesy the artist and Ngukurr Arts
 

Trudy Inkamala on Woman with Dilly Bags 

Trudy Inkamala, Woman with Dilly Bags, 2019, mixed media, plastic, woollen blankets dyed with bush plantscotton, wool, hessian, feathers. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors Group 2019. © Trudy Inkamala 209.2019

Trudy  Inkamala
b1940
Arrernte/Luritja, Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Central Desert region
Recorded in 2020
Courtesy the artist and Tangentyere Council

Beth Mbitjana Inkamala on Hermannsburg Days

Beth MbitjanaInkamala, Hermannsburg Days , 2019, terracotta and underglazes. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mollie Douglas Bequest Fund 2019. © Beth Mbitjiana Inkamala. 197.2019 

Beth  Mbitjana  Inkamala
b1977
Western Aranda, Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Central Desert region
Recorded in 2020
Courtesy the artist and Hermannsburg Potters

Marlene Rubuntja on Woman with Dilly Bags and Dilly Bag Hat 

Marlene Rubuntja, Woman with Dilly Bags and Dilly Bag Hat , 2019 , mixed media, plastic, woollen blankets dyed with bush plants, cotton, wool, hessian, feathers , Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors Group 2019. © Marlene Rubuntja . 210.2019 

Marlene  Rubuntja
b1961
Western Aranda, Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Central Desert region
Recorded in 2020
Courtesy the artist and Tangentyere Council