UNBOXED TREASURES: Nineteen crates were delivered to the Warwick Art Gallery for the Warakurna Exhibition. Gallery director Karina Devine and exhibitions and loans Officer Paul Peisley will be installing the display over during the week.
UNBOXED TREASURES: Nineteen crates were delivered to the Warwick Art Gallery for the Warakurna Exhibition. Gallery director Karina Devine and exhibitions and loans Officer Paul Peisley will be installing the display over during the week. Nicole Zurcas

Gallery unveiling largest indigenous exhibition this week

WARWICK Art Gallery is set to reveal the biggest display of contemporary indigenous art it has ever hosted when a new exhibition opens this week.

Artwork from the National Museum of Australia (NMA) is touring the nation and Warwick has been selected as one of only three galleries in Queensland to host the exhibition, called Warakurna: All the Stories Got into our Minds and Eyes.

Gallery director Karina Devine said it would be the first time the gallery would work with NMA.

"We haven't displayed anything from NMA before, it's a world of difference working with a national body to regional galleries,” Ms Devine said.

"We were recommended to NMA and it's great to know we have the capacity to host these grand exhibitions.”

The exhibition of over 30 unique works of Aboriginal art will open at the gallery on August 24.

Warakurna: All the Stories Got into our Minds and Eyes, is a collection of paintings, emerging from a thriving art centre in the heart of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.

A community at the foot of the Rawlinson Ranges in Western Australia, 300 kilometres west of Uluru, has documented the history of the land.

Ms Devine said the gallery had been scouting for works like those in the collection for quite some time.

"For a long time now the committee has been aware we do not receive a lot of indigenous artwork,” she said.

"We are very excited to showcase exceptional and beautiful works of indigenous cultures.”

CULTURAL GIFTS: The majority of the paintings in the exhibition were donated to the National Museum by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch such as Jean Inyalanka Burk's painting, Making the Cut Line with Len Beadell.
CULTURAL GIFTS: The majority of the paintings in the exhibition were donated to the National Museum by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch such as Jean Inyalanka Burk's painting, Making the Cut Line with Len Beadell. Wayne and Vicki McGeoch

This exhibition would be the gallery's biggest display of contemporary indigenous art.

Because of the speciality of the pieces, it is one of the most technical installations the gallery has undertaken.

"The delicacy of the paintings and coming from a national body means it's a very complex crating and displaying process,” Ms Devine said.

"Paul Peisley, the exhibitions and loans officer from the NAM, has travelled from Canberra to help us install it.

"It will take us a week to put on the final touches.”

The paintings in the Warakurna exhibition are more figurative in style than traditional western desert art.

"Still using the traditional indigenous dot method, the paintings have objects people can recognise, such as helicopters and tractors,” Ms Devine said.

"And there are some more traditional symbolic dot work pieces as well.”

During her 12 years of working at the gallery Ms Devine has organised 130 exhibitions, but she said this one was outstanding.

"People understand the beauty and uniqueness of ingenious art but this exhibition is absolutely mind blowing,” she said.

"To have this work in our own backyard is an amazing opportunity to educate the community and inspire local artists.”

The majority of the paintings in the exhibition were donated to the National Museum by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch under the Commonwealth Government's Cultural Gifts Program in 2011.

The National Museum purchased a further 10 paintings in 2012.

Open to the public on Friday, the exhibition will be at the Warwick Art Gallery until October 6.



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