Ever Present – First Peoples Art of Australia: Auckland Art Gallery

Yhonnie Scarce

28 Jul - 28 Oct 2023

With over 150 works from 1890 to today, Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is the largest overview of art by First Peoples of Australia to be presented in Aotearoa.

Drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art, Ever Present highlights the diverse peoples and artistic practices across Australia. It is a celebration of First Peoples of Australia art exploring the interlinking themes of Ancestors, Community, Culture, Colonisation, and Identity. Knowledge systems are passed down through oral histories, dancing, stories and songlines or songspirals that traverse diverse lands, coming together to evoke Ancestral creation stories known by some Communities as the Dreaming or Tjukurrpa. Art is also used as a tool of resistance. Artists utilise wit and juxtaposition to encourage conversation about critical issues of the past and present. The artworks included in Ever Present address Australia’s complex histories and challenge stereotypes about First Peoples of Australia.
The exhibition includes some of the most influential First Peoples of Australia artists including Brook Andrew, Richard Bell, Bindi Cole, Karla Dickens, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, Vernon Ah Kee, Kunmanara Ray Ken, Emily Kam Kngwarray, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Alex Mingelmanganu, Archie Moore,  Albert Namatjira, Dorothy Napangardi, Christopher Pease, r e a, Yhonnie Scarce, Damien Shen, Christian Thompson and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia holds sacred objects and cultural values – we ask for mindfulness while in the exhibition. First Peoples of Australia are respectfully advised that this exhibition contain names and artworks by deceased people. Where possible permission has been sought to include their names and artworks.

The artists and collaborators in Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia wish to acknowledge tangata whenua (people of the land) Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and all iwi and people who live in Aotearoa New Zealand
Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is presented by the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Arts in partnership with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and supported by the Australian Government. The exhibition is proudly supported by AUT and Auckland Art Gallery Foundation.

Auckland Art Gallery
Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland NZ