King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is pleased to present the KWM Contemporary First Nations
Art Award exhibition at Melbourne not-for-profit gallery fortyfivedownstairs from 6
th to 29th July.
After conducting the 2020 Contemporary First Nations Art Award judging online, KWM is
delighted to host an in-person exhibition to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding
contribution made to Australian culture by First Nations artists in remote, regional and urban
areas throughout Australia.
Selected from more than 60 entries, 29 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists were
chosen as finalists, including eight artists from the Northern Territory, four from New South
Wales, eight from Queensland, three from South Australia, four from Victoria and one from
both Tasmania and Western Australia.
Winner of the 2020 KWM Contemporary First Nations Art Award, Michelle Woody’s (Tiwi
Islands, NT) artwork will be displayed at the exhibition, along with the finalists’ works. Woody’s
winning work, ‘Ngiya Murrakupupuni’, encapsulates her contemporary Tiwi style for which she
is gaining national recognition. In the long-standing tradition of her ancestors, Woody utilises
natural ochres sourced on country around Milikapiti that are collected, crushed and burned
into the three traditional colours of the island landscape: white, yellow and red.
Woody said, “I will use the money to conduct a Pukumani ceremony with my in-laws for my
husband, who was an artist, and who passed on about a year ago. Today Tiwi culture is
important – this will help me continue to participate in ceremonies to respect my relatives and
teach my grand-children. To pass on this knowledge, it makes me feel wonderful.”
KWM Chief Executive Partner, Berkeley Cox said, “The Art Award is one of the ways we
continue to strive for meaningful reconciliation with, and empowerment of Australia’s First
Peoples. We are very grateful for the opportunity to hold a live exhibition for the KWM
Contemporary First Nations Art Award to appreciate the rich culture and stories that are told
through the art, and learn from and celebrate the artists’ talent, voices and experiences.”
The 2020 finalists are: Amala Groom, Angkaliya Curtis, Ashlee Murray, Brian Robinson,
Carmen Glynn-Braun, Carolanne Ken, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Fiona Foley, Gordon Hookey,
Helen Ganalmirriwuy, Ian Waldron, Jenna Lee, Joe Dhamanydji, Josh Muir, Judy Watson, Kait
James, Karla Dickens, Kaye Brown, Maree Clarke, Marina Pumani Brown, Michael Cook,
Michelle Woody, Patju Presley, Reggie Uluru, Richard Bell, Sally M Nangala Mulda, Samantha
Hobson, Timothy Cook and Travis De Vries.