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27th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA)

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View the 27th Telstra NATSIAA Online Gallery!

Experience the 27th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) online!

All 96 pre-selected art works featured in this year's Telstra Art Award can be viewed through the online gallery. View the art works in greater detail than before and vote for who you think should be the People's Choice Winner.

The gallery is available in two formats, a high bandwidth version for users with a fast internet speed and a low bandwidth version for those on slower download speeds (dial-up).

27th Telstra NATSIAA Award Winners

Major Prize Winner Mr Donegan, from Kalka in Western Australia was awarded the national Telstra Art Award and the Telstra General Painting Award at the 27th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islander Art Award.

Papa Tjukurpa and Pukara is acombination of two stories, Papa Tjukurpa and Pukara.  Papa Tjukurpa, (Dingo dreaming) is the story of Mr Donegan’s father's country, prolific with dingoes digging and hunting at Pilantjara rockhole.  Pukara is Mr Donegan’s grandfather’s country and depicts a water snake Ancestral story about a sacred men's site in Western Australia.

Telstra Bark Painting Award was awarded to Glen Namundja from Gunbalanya, Northern Territory for his work, Kunabibbe Ceremony at Manmoyi.   Glen’s work depicts the ceremony ground near Manmoyi outstation and the story about the Rainbow Serpent coiled around two Aboriginal women who transgress customary Law.

Wandjuk Marika Three-Dimensional Memorial Award was awarded to Wukun Wanambi, from Yirrkala for his work Bamurrungu.  This painting depicts the milk fish or Marparrarra that swim up to Bamurrungu and the turbulence of the tide and the white sea-foam forming around a sacred and solitary rock in Trial Bay. 

Telstra Works on Paper was awarded to Dennis Nona from Badu and Saibai Island, Queensland.  Saulal explores the seasonal phenomenon of turtle mating which starts on the mainland and travels north through the Torres Strait Islands.

Telstra New Media Award was awarded to Nawurapu Wunungmurra from Gurrumuru in the Northern Territory for his work Mokuy.  This work depicts the mokuy or nanuk (spirits), Dhuwa and Yirritja, entering together onto the sacred ground called Balambala.  Projected onto the mokuy are images of the artist’s ancestors dancing, combining the images from the past and present.

The Peoples Choice Award was awarded to Nawurapu Wunungmurra, for his work Mokuy. This winning artist from the Northern Territory has exhibited in eight Telstra NATSIAA exhibitions since 1995 and this year he is the winner of the inaugural Telstra New Media Award. Mokuy incorporates carvings of spirit figures illuminated by archival film of the artist’s ancestors dancing.

Introducing the Telstra New Media Award

In recent years, a growing number of Indigenous artists have embraced new media in their art practice. To recognise this emerging field in Indigenous art practice NATSIAA has introduced a new prize category – the Inaugural Telstra New Media Award

In 2010, the five categories in which prizes are awarded are the:

  • Inaugural Telstra New Media Award ($3,000) (theme connections)
  • Telstra General Painting Award ($4,000)
  • Telstra Bark Painting Award ($4,000)
  • Telstra Work on Paper Award ($4,000)
  • Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award (sponsored by Telstra) ($4,000)

The Telstra Award of $40,000 and the five media category prizes are non-acquisitive.

NATSIAA Background

The Award was established in 1984 as the National Aboriginal Art Award by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The aim of the Award is to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists and to promote appreciation and understanding of the quality and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from regional and urban based Indigenous artists throughout Australia, working in traditional and contemporary media. The Award is an important showcase for both established and emerging artists and has come to be regarded as one of the premier national events in the Australian Indigenous art calendar.

The Award attracts a range of Indigenous artists from all parts of the country and about 100 works are selected each year from around 300 entries. The diversity and style of work submitted each year reflects the changing face of contemporary Aboriginal art practice.

Telstra has sponsored the Award since 1992 and has continued to further enhance its profile and prestige. In 2000, Telstra doubled the First Prize money from $20,000 to $40,000. In 2006, the Telstra First Prize was re-named the Telstra Award.

In 2010 the overall winner of the $40,000 Telstra Award will be selected from winners of the five media categories.

For more information, contact

Award Coordinator
Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory
GPO Box 4646
Darwin NT 0801
Phone: (08) 8999 8203 or (08) 8999 8264
Facsimile: 08 8999 8148


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