The Vincent Lingiari Art Award 2021

[by Sasha Pavey]


Image: Mervyn Bishop

Desart, the Central Land Council and Tangentyere Artists are proud to present the third Vincent Lingiari Art Award on Wednesday, September 8.


The winner of this year’s $10,000 prize, chosen by art curator and writer Hetti Kemerre Perkins, will be announced at 5:30pm at the Tangentyere Artists Gallery in Alice Springs.


The exhibition features paintings and sculptures by 26 finalists who have responded to the theme Ngawa, Ngapa, Kapi, Kwatja, Water, which reflects just some of the many languages of Central Australia.


As CLC chair Sammy Wilson has said, “water rights are the new land rights”, and with a record 47 entries this year’s theme has certainly resonated.


“We chose the theme because without safe, secure and adequate sources of water the spiritual, cultural and physical survival of our constituents on their own land is under threat,” CLC chief executive Les Turner said.


"This year’s Vincent Lingiari Art Award highlights the campaign for Aboriginal water rights the Northern Territory land councils kicked off last year with their call for a safe drinking water act,” Desart chief executive Philip Watkins said.


The chair of Tangentyere and inaugural winner of the Vincent Lingiari Art Award, Marlene Rubuntja, said the award “gives Aboriginal artists the opportunity to work to themes that are important not only to us but to everyone. Water is life”.


Ms Perkins said the artists’ response to the theme covered a range of viewpoints, from overtly political works with their calls to stop fracking to the beauty of cultural stories as old as water itself.


She co-curated the exhibition with curator and assistant manager of the Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands art centre, Marisa Maher.


“It’s great that despite the Sydney lockdown we are still able to work collaboratively on this important exhibition,” Ms Maher said.


The winner of the CLC delegates choice award, selected by the council members on Vincent Lingiari’s country, will also be presented by Mr Lingiari’s granddaughters on the night. Tangentyere Artists’ COVID plan is in place, and those wishing to attend must register via https://vlaa2021.eventbrite.com.au.


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