The exhibition Opening was held on Thursday 15 June 2023
The Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture (IAC) at Western Sydney University is honoured and thrilled to present this very special exhibition Red Heart of Australia from the National Museum of Australia at our art space on Parramatta South campus as the first venue of a national tour from 1 June to 28 July 2023.
Red Heart of Australia is an exhibition of eight paintings, created by Aboriginal artists from across central Australia and selected from the National Museum of Australia’s collection. It had its inaugural exhibition at the National Art Museum of China from 31 July to 2 December 2021.
In the words of Dr Margo Ngawa Neale, the Head of the National Museum of Australia Indigenous Knowledges Centre and Senior Indigenous Curator, “These paintings are a visual tethering to the red heart of Australia and the huge monolith called Uluru. The Aboriginal Australian artists who created them use the colour red to express their relationships to Country, family, blood lines, ritual and spirituality.
“Aboriginal artists today relay ancient knowledges using cutting-edge technologies and modern mediums. What started as ephemeral drawings in the earth, on rock walls and on the human body in ceremony can be seen here adapted to permanent works on canvas, chosen not only for the knowledge they contain but also for their intricacy, power and beauty”.
Red symbolises the blood of the sacred Ancestors and of family lines that reach across the centuries, connecting the ancient to the contemporary. Aboriginal Australians are part of the oldest continuing culture on earth and have lived on the Australian continent for over 60,000 years.
Red Heart of Australia at IAC will be opened by Professor Michelle Trudgett, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Leadership at Western Sydney University and Rauny Worm, Head of Visitor Experience National Museum of Australia in Canberra. At the Opening, there will also be a musical performance by Ethan Teuma and Band. Ethan Teuma, from the Bundjalung nation, is a music student at Western Sydney University. Inspired by his studies in World Music, he has developed an interest in exploring new soundscapes with his didgeridoo skills and will perform a new work featuring the didgeridoo accompanied by his band members.
IAC would also like to take this opportunity to promote The Protocols for Using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts published by the Australia Council for the Arts. The Protocols provide a pathway for collaborations and creation of new Indigenous work. IAC has proudly produced the translation of the Chinese version of The Protocols through the commission of the Australia Council. You can download a copy of Chinese version HERE and English version HERE. (Expanding Readings: SBS Chinese Channel - "Engaging in Indigenous Voices Discussion? Beware! These Offensive Chinese Expressions Could Do More Harm than Good" - Professor Jing Han emphasizes the importance of accuracy when expressing Indigenous perspectives.)
This exhibition will give our students, staff and general public the opportunity to view and enjoy these magnificent Indigenous paintings and celebrate the 2023 NAIDOC Week. Western Sydney University as an education institution shares with the Australian community the cultures, languages, history and contemporary experiences of Australia’s Indigenous people and is committed to Indigenous education, research and engagement. Knowing and understanding Indigenous history and culture through Indigenous art is empowering and powerful.
1 June to 28 July 2023
Venue: Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture Gallery, Ground Floor, Building EA, Parramatta South Campus, Western Sydney University. 171 Victoria Road, Parramatta.
Gallery Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (9.30 am – 5.00 pm)
Contact: Lindsay Liu email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the video explaining the symbolism of some of the works on show in Red Heart of Australia.