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Naata Nungurrayi, Untitled, 2010, one of the artworks on display at unDisclosed
Naata Nungurrayi, Untitled, 2010, one of the artworks on display at unDisclosed

unDisclosed

Arts Northern Rivers Indigenous Arts Development Officer Robert Appo reports on unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial, on now at the National Gallery in Canberra.

On May 10th 2012 , I had the opportunity to attend the opening of unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra, with the other Indigenous Arts Development Officers who are part of the Regional Arts NSW network.

The exhibition's theme, unDisclosed, alludes to the spoken and the unspoken, the known and the unknown, what can be revealed and what cannot. It captures the duality of the disclosed and undisclosed embedded within the works and the exhibition as a whole. Viewers are invited to unearth the layers of hidden and subtle meanings and to place them alongside those that are conspicuous.

unDisclosed features the work of 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from regional, remote and urban communities and is curated by Carly Lane, a Kalkadoon woman from North West Queensland with a background in curatorship, anthropology and art.

The artists featured in the exhibition include: Tony Albert, Vernon Ah Kee, Bob Burruwal, Michael Cook, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Nici Cumpston, Fiona Foley, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Gunybi Ganambarr, Julie Gough, Lindsay Harris, Jonathan Jones, Danie Mellor, Naata Nungurrayi, Maria Josette Orsto, Daniel Walbidi, Christian Thompson, Alick Tipoti, Lena Yarinkura and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu.

Nineteen of the artists were present at the opening and participated in public programs and floor talks during the weekend. A program of workshops which included weaving with Rembarrgna artist Bob Burruwal and his family and a drawing workshop with Danie Mellor were both well attended and a great chance to meet the artists.

During the weekend we also visited the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the National Museum and were given an inside view to the Aboriginal collections of both institutions. The weekend was a fantastic opportunity for us to network with other Aboriginal artists and arts workers from across the country and to make a connection with the NGA.

The highlight of the trip was the artists talks on the Saturday, which featured a special ceremony by Yolgnu artist Gunybi Ganambarr in honour of a special elder who passed away just before the exhibition opening, leaving the large crowd very moved by the experience.

unDisclosed runs until July 22 at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT.

Special thanks to Regional Arts NSW, Arts NSW and NGA for their support in making this trip possible.