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Current Exhibition Program

MAGNT presents permanent exhibitions, temporary and travelling exhibitions.

Yalangbara: art of the Djang'kawu

25 November 2011 - 15 July 2012


Mawalan 1 Marika

Figures of the male Djang'kawu, ancestral being of the Dhuwan moiety

Human hair, bark fibres, feathers, natural pigments on wood, 74.3 x 14.8cm, 81 x 13cm

Art Gallery of New South Wales


Yalangbara: art of the Djang'kawu is a groundbreaking exhibition presenting the mythological, environmental and historical significance of the major site Yalangbara, in north-east Arnhem Land. This is the first Indigenous art exhibition to focus upon one clan's ancestral land. It is also the first major survey show for the talented Marika family, one of Australia's foremost artistic dynasties.

Yalangbara or Port Bradshaw is the land sit of the Djang'kawu, the ancestral lawgivers and founders of all Dhuwa moiety clans in north-east Arnhem land. The exhibition illustrates the creative journey of the Djang'kawu from Burralku to Yalangbara, a journey that involved naming animals and plants they encountered, creating the landform, giving birth to the people and performing ceremonies.

On display is a diverse range of over 60 artworks produced by three generations of Marika artists including the very first bark painting produced at Yirrkala in the 1930s, the rare, large crayon drawings collected by anthropologist Ronald Berndt in the 1950s, and the monumental barks collected by Tony Tuckson for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as well as contemporary paintings, prints, sculptures and fibre items. The Yalangbara digging stick normally on display next to the famous Bark Petition in Parliament House will also be on exhibition.



Presented by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in partnership with members of the Marika family and the National Museum of Australia.


Activate - Cultivate: a survey exhibition of Red Hand Print posters

8 October - 19 February 2012

 Franck Gohier


 February 1999

 Hemi ink on archival system card

 PR 00443

 Gift of Red Hand Prints, 2002

 Image courtesy of Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory


The exhibition Activate–Cultivate presents artworks made in Darwin about Darwin. The works, all drawn from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) permanent collection, consist of posters created between 1997 and 2002 by the local open-access printmaking studio Red Hand Prints.


The imagery and style used by the artists are bold, accessible and immediately recognisable elsewhere, making these graphic works engaging wherever they are shown. The posters in this exhibition offer a brief but perceptive take on local issues and local concerns, exploring not only art created in direct relation to its environment but also what it is to be an artist in that environment. In a small capital like Darwin, they provide an historical record of political ideas, social events and artistic concerns in a community known for its transience, while also contributing significantly to the substantial body of prints produced by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists in the NT.


A Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory exhibition


28th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

11 August - 30 October 2011

Mr Donegan
Papa Tjukurpa and Pukara, WA, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 180 x 200cm.
Winner Telstra Award and Telstra General Painting Award,
27th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awrads 2010.

The 28th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award aims to showcase the very best of Australian Indigenous art from around the country.

The Award celebrates the important contribution made by Indigenous artists and helps to promote greater appreciation and understanding of the quality and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from rural and urban based Indigenous artists throughout Australia, working in traditional and contemporary media.

A Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory exhibition

Sponsored by Telstra


Lyons Cottage: A History

From June 2011

Mrs Dorothea Lyons, wife of John ‘Tiger’ Lyons, at the front gate to Lyons Cottage, mid 1960s.

Image courtesy of Northern Territory Library

PH0091/0093, Northern Territory Government Photographic Collection


Lyons Cottage: A history, an exhibition located within Lyons Cottage, traces the history of the site from when the land was first leased to Dr James Millner in 1873 to its current role as a heritage building and events venue. Lyons Cottage has survived bombings, cyclones and developers, each failing to destroy a building that has been a key part of the city’s history since its construction. The story of Lyons Cottage makes for a fascinating walk through the history of Darwin.

Visitors are also encouraged to view a selection of historical images jointly presented by NT Archives and the NT Library. This presentation will change every six months, each time presenting a different theme in the history of Darwin.

Lyons Cottage is operated by Aboriginal Bush Traders.



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