Arts / Culture

Country Road and NGV champion 8 First Nations artists in this new exhibition

Eight emerging First Nations artists have had their work selected to be exhibited in My Country, a new major show at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

The artists were hand-picked from across the country as part of the inaugural Country Road + NGV First Nations Commissions mentorship program. Occuring on a biennial basis, the program is a joint initiative on behalf of Country Road and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The idea is that each participating artist is paired with an industry mentor who has spent the last year advising them in the development of their most ambitious works to date.

In 2024, the recipients include Walgalu man Aidan Hartshorn, Gomeroi textile artist Sophie Honess, Tiwi artist, poet and human rights advocate Johnathon World Peace Bush; Kamilaroi painter, sculptor and curator Warraba Weatherallpainting duo Alec Baker and Eric Barney from Iwantja Arts in Indulkana; Pataway/Burnie-based painter Cheryl Rose, Boon Wurrung and Barkindji man Mitch Mahoney, and finally painter and ceramicist Jan Griffiths who was mentored by her mother Peggy Griffiths for the exhibition.

Other mentors participating in the program include Vincent Namatjira OAM, Tony Albert, Jonathan Jones, James Tylor, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Maree Clarke and Denise Robinson.

The artworks exhibited span multiple mediums, including weaving, sculpture, painting, installation, textiles and more.

Country Road and NGV First Nations Commissions developed the program to acknowledge the importance of collaboration within the artmaking process. It serves to create a dialogue between those coming up through the ranks and the artists who have established and maintained rich careers in the industry. The program is also structured to reflect the storytelling and knowledge-sharing systems that exist within First Nations communities.

My Country opened at NGV Melbourne this week and is scheduled to run until early August 2024. Explore the artworks of all eight artists now.

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