Intricate etching of fish trap ceremonies scoops $50,000 art prize

This year’s prestigious $50,000 Telstra Art Award was won by Gunybi Ganambarr from the remote community of Gan Gan in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Mr Ganambarr was named this year’s winner at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin this month.

His work, Buyku, an intricate etching on an aluminium board, was chosen as the overall winner from more than 300 entries and 66 finalists.

The winning work was selected by a judging panel comprised of Kelly Gellatly, director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne; Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, independent curator and art consultant; and Judith Inkamala, artist and senior member of the Hermannsburg Potters.

The judges described Buyku— which portrays the coming together of the Dhalwangu clan for fish trap ceremonies and how the ceremonies unite Yolŋus — as a commanding and powerful work, which illustrates the artist’s deep knowledge of culture and ceremony.

Other winners who received $5000 each were:

Telstra General Painting Award
Peter Mungkuri, Indulkana, South Australia.

Telstra Works on Paper Award
Kathy Inkamala, Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Northern Territory.

Telstra Bark Painting Award
Napuwarri Marawili, Yilpara, NT.

Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award (sponsored by Telstra)
Wukun Wanambi, Yirrkala, NT

Telstra Multimedia Award
Patrina Liyadurrkitj Mununggurr, Yirrkala, NT

Telstra Emerging Artist Award
Matthew Dhamuliya Gurriwiwi, Warruwi, NT

By Wendy Caccetta

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