A beautiful collection of Aboriginal art is currently on display at Penrith Regional Gallery.
‘21st Century Beginnings’ presents a selection of large-scale Aboriginal paintings from the private collection of Patrick Corrigan.
The exhibition features recent paintings created in the first decade of the 21st Century, by 34 Aboriginal artists from different regions.
This exhibition represents a synthesis between traditional narratives and contemporary art practice, offering a fresh perspective on an ancient culture.
Exhibiting in ‘21st Century Beginnings’ are artists representing a range of land areas including the Pintupi people of the Western Desert, Tiwi people of the Top End and Gija people of the Kimberley region.
A selection of paintings of the Tingari Cycle will be exhibited in the Lewers House Gallery, while the paintings in the Main Gallery represent a diverse range of stories and traditional subjects.
Aboriginal Australia has more than 250 recorded language groups, each of which is identified as a sovereign nation with their own unique connection to country.
‘Country’ is an all-encompassing term that includes both a physical and spiritual landscape.
A spiritual sense of country connects Aboriginal people to the landscape and their ancestors and, in turn, determines each individual’s cultural responsibilities.
The connection, with its responsibilities to particular areas of country, is central to both Aboriginal customary law and contemporary land rights claims.
Out of respect for the strong sense of identity that Aboriginal people have traditionally drawn from their country, each artist has been identified by their language group and region, which for the most part describes the artist’s place of birth.
However, a number of artists are closely connected to more than one place.
In their lifetimes, most of these women and men have journeyed a great deal – their unique experiences contributing to the diverse styles, colours and subjects represented in ‘21st Century Beginnings.’
The value of private collections such as the Corrigan Collection of Aboriginal Art is quite involved.
They can offer a unique, and usually distinctive, snapshot of cultural history and artistic practice as well as enriching exhibition and educative experiences and opportunities.
Spokesperson for the Penrith Regional Gallery, Dimity Mullane, said people need to see these unbelievable collection of works in person to experience their true beauty.
“These beautiful works are done on such a large scale, which makes them so incredible to see close up,” Ms Mullane said.
“The colours used in these paintings aren’t your typical colours, their vibrancy is mesmerising and the colour scheme is out of this world.
“I encourage everyone at some point to get down and witness these magnificent works.”
This is an extraordinary exhibition that the people of Penrith should be proud to have showcased in their town.
Make sure you get out and see ‘21st Century Beginnings’ at the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest. The exhibition is currently showing until July 8 and entry is free.
For more information call 4735 1100 or visit www.penrithregionalgallery.org.