Indigenous arts celebrated in Australia

The winners of this year’s Australia Council National Indigenous Arts Awards were recognised at a ceremony in the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday.

Multidisciplinary artist Tyrone Sheather, who works in both visual art and dance, received the Dreaming Award. As artistic director of the programme Giinagay Gumbaynggirr, he created an exhibition which blended art forms to reflect on Gumbaynggirr culture. As recipient of the Dreaming Award, Sheather will receive AUD20,000 to create a major body of work.

Musicians Dave Arden and Bart Willoughby each won Fellowship awards, which provide AUD45,000 a year for two years to create a major work.

Read: Q&A with Brenna Hobson, executive director at Belvoir

A singer and guitarist, Arden has performed with many of Australia’s Aboriginal artists, and was a member of The Black Arm Band. His Fellowship will focus on the development and performance of original songs with accompanying stories and projected images about five generations of his family.

Willoughby was the first Aboriginal artist to appear in and write lyrics for a docu-drama, the first Aboriginal artist to score a feature film and the first to sign a record deal. His Fellowship project will involve staging a series of concerts, which will feature him playing the organ.

Visual artist Hector Tjupuru Burton took the Red Ochre Award, which awards AUD50,000 for outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander arts at an international and national level.

Photo: L-R: Bart Willoughby, Tyrone Sheather, Hector Burton, Dave Arden