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Indigenous art shines high and bright across the Capital

Tonight, NAIDOC Week in the ACT opens with an Indigenous light spectacular on the National Carillon.

The light show brings a new dimension to the Capital’s NAIDOC Week celebrations. For just the second time in its 5O years, The Carillon will shine a light on Indigenous brilliance and creative cultural expression. 

This iconic Brutalist structure will be an electric canvas illuminating a series of artwork and designs from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and art centres participating in the 2020 AIATSIS online Indigenous Art Market.

This year’s NAIDOC theme Always Was, Always Will Be, reinforces the strength and resilience of First Nations Peoples to survive and thrive. AIATSIS CEO, Craig Ritchie says the theme has a two-fold meaning. 

“This year more than ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have demonstrated their resilience in these challenging times.”

“NAIDOC Week gives us deeper and more meaningful insight into our strong, rich and diverse culture. It’s an opportunity to celebrate with the nation who we are, our achievements and our contribution over the past 65,000 years.”

Co-Chair National NAIDOC Committee John Paul Janke says, “It’s a stunning way to showcase the beauty, strength and diversity of First Nations art in the heart of the National Capital – art that is connected to millennia of lore, language, people and culture - and importantly Country.

“Country that we know always was and always will be Aboriginal Land.”

The 2020 National NAIDOC Poster Artwork, 'Shape of Land', by Tyrown Waigana, projected on to the National Carillon

The 2020 National NAIDOC Poster Artwork, 'Shape of Land', by Tyrown Waigana, projected on to the National Carillon

Speaking from Warlukurlangu Art Centre in Yuendumu, NT, Manager Cecilia Alfonso says the artists understand a physical art market cannot be held this year.

“The artists didn’t hesitate to contribute to AIATSIS’ NAIDOC celebration and knowing some of their works will be illuminated in all their vibrancy for all to see, makes them and our art centre very proud.

“We are thrilled AIATSIS continues to support the hundreds of artists and their communities across Australia.

I wish we could all be there to be part of the NAIDOC 2020 celebrations.”

Now in its 7th year, the Indigenous Art Market is a popular annual event in the ACT. The public appreciate engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from around Australia, also supporting them through the ethical sale of authentic art. This year the market will be held online in the interest of public health and safety.

“The virtual format gives the market a bigger reach and wider national and international audience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to showcase their culture and talents,” says Craig Ritchie.

AIATSIS acknowledges the support of our project partners National NAIDOC Committee, National Capital Authority and Department of Infrastructure, Transport Regional Development and Communications.