Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Tarnanthi Festival program announced

Tarnanthi Festival program announced
September 16, 2019

Taking place in in exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) and venues across South Australia, as well as an art fair, the program for Tarnanthi, Australia’s largest celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture is set to feature the work of more than 1,000 artists from around Australia.

Tarnanthi Artistic Director, Nici Cumpston advises: “Tarnanthi is a place of ideas and discussion, a gathering place for people to come together to encounter other viewpoints and to make connections. It is an opportunity for new and old relationships to develop and it is a chance to look, listen and hear one another.”

This year’s Festival will be launched at AGSA on the night of 17th October by special guests including internationally acclaimed Yolŋu artist and ceremonial leader, Djambawa Marawili AM; Yolŋu award-winning rap sensation and Australian of the Year, Baker Boy, as well as performances by artists from the Tiwi Islands and from northeast Arnhem Land. More than 300 artists from across Australia will be welcomed to Adelaide to join in the opening weekend celebrations.

Rhana Devenport ONZM, Director AGSA notes: “Visitors to Tarnanthi 2019 will experience sixty-three collaborative or solo projects, thirty presented at AGSA and another thirty-three at thirty partner venues, as well as an abundance of publicly accessible events such as the panpa-panpalya ideas forum, where visitors can hear directly from artists about current and important conversations.”

Participating artists are aged from 15 to 81 years, while works of art span range of mediums across painting, photography, printmaking, carving, sculpture, moving image, works on paper, textiles and performance.

At AGSA, Artists from Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, a tropical hothouse of creativity at Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land, will present a project titled Gurruṯu at AGSA, which explores the intricate knowledge system that connects people and the universe across time.

Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones has curated Bunha-bunhanga: Aboriginal agriculture in the south-east. As the first visual representation of the ground-breaking research of award-winning author, Bruce Pascoe, Jones unites historical landscape paintings and drawings from around the country with rarely seen Aboriginal agricultural tools from museum collections in the Gallery’s historic Elder Wing. The project will also encompass an exhibition at the Museum of Economic Botany in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

A truly South Australian collaboration for Tarnanthi 2019 is that between JamFactory and Ninuku Arts in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Glass blown at JamFactory was sent north to Kalka, where artists hand-painted the glass ‘starter bubbles’ with their characteristic designs and fired them in Ninuku’s new kiln. The bubbles then travelled back to Adelaide to undergo their final transformation, by being expertly blown into large glass vessels at JamFactory, where the works will be presented.

A highlight over the opening weekend is the annual Tarnanthi Art Fair at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. The Tarnanthi Art Fair is committed to the ethical production and purchase of works of art, with all proceeds from sales going directly to the artists and art centres. It is also a unique opportunity to meet artists firsthand about the works of art available for sale. Tarnanthi Art Fair adheres to the Indigenous Art Code.

Across the opening weekend, a full program of public events, artist talks, performances will be open to the public. Held exclusively over the opening weekend at AGSA, artist Ryan Presley’s Blood Money Currency Exchange Terminal will offer visitors the opportunity to exchange Australian dollars (AUD) for various denominations of limited-edition Blood Money Dollars (BMD). Based on Presley’s series of watercolour paintings, money raised will go to Aboriginal youth programs and exchange rates may fluctuate.

Laura Tyler, Asset President Olympic Dam, BHP notes:”BHP’s principal partnership with the Art Gallery of South Australia through Tarnanthi is an ongoing, meaningful relationship of which we are enormously proud. We are committed to building a foundation of social investment, cultural sustainability and economic empowerment, that will directly and lastingly benefit Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Steven Marshall MP is delighted to see the return of the nationally celebrated Festival stating: “Not only is Tarnanthi creating a collaborative and nationally acclaimed platform to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic talent, the Festival has also generated tens of millions of dollars into our State’s economy. We are thrilled that South Australia is home to this inspiring and influential project.”

Tarnanthi: Festival of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art is presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia in partnership with BHP and with support from the Government of South Australia.

Image of artist Ryan Presley’s limited-edition Blood Money Dollars (BMD).

Related Articles

20th August 2019 - Darwin Festival sets 40-year record for ticket sales

19th August 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation launches ‘Buy A Seat’ fundraising campaign

7th August 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre releases its 2019 OzAsia Festival program

2nd August 2019 - 10th anniversary program released for Sydney Fringe Festival

27th July 2019 - Wanaka New Year music festival announces confirmed artists

25th June 2019 - Hobart’s Dark Mofo attracts record breaking crowds

17th June 2019 - Queensland Yarrabah festival celebrates First Nations’ arts and culture

30th May 2019 - Study shows Perth festival has major impact on community spirit and arts initiatives

31st January 2019 - Ten Days on the Island 2019 festival program launched

8th September 2018 - Adelaide Fringe to add new dimension with focus on Aboriginal storytelling

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation


Supreme Heating

Supreme Heating is a proud Australian owned company specialising in the latest energy efficient heating solutions. Since 1990, Supreme Heating has designed and installed commercial pool heating…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation


Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Design


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology



The Calgym/Synergy group has had a long and proud history since 1976 as world leaders in the innovation, design and evolution of commercial strength and conditioning equipment. The Synergy group was…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology


SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail



Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business