King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is delighted to announce the 29 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who have been selected as finalists in the 2020 KWM Contemporary First Nations Art Award.

Selected from more than 60 entries, the finalists include eight from the Northern Territory, four from NSW, eight from Queensland, three from South Australia, four from Victoria and one from both Tasmania and Western Australia.

An expert judging panel comprised of renowned Victoria-based curators Myles Russell-Cook, a descendant of the Wotjobaluk people; Shonae Hobson, a Southern Kaantju woman; and Stacie Piper, a Wurundjeri and Dja Dja Wurrung woman, selected this year’s finalists along with award Patron, Bundjalung man, Djon Mundine OAM.

This year the award criteria was expanded to incorporate additional media including sculptures, digital media, weaving and jewellery, resulting in a diverse range of submissions
that showcase the outstanding artistic talent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia.

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.

Award Patron Djon Mundine OAM said, “In an age where we are drowning in images, these everyday Aboriginal artists make these gestures to give us moments of imagination and meaning. We, Aboriginal people, strive to talk in art across generations so we remain in the focal point in the national imagination.”

KWM Chief Executive Partner, Australia, Berkeley Cox said, “We have been overwhelmed by the calibre and number of entries that have been received for this year’s award. For a range of reasons, it feels more important than ever to support First Nations culture especially by enabling First Nations artists to share their stories through this powerful medium and to develop, improve, contribute to and challenge understanding by our society.”

The finalists’ work is displayed in an online exhibition located on the KWM First Nations Art Award website. The winners of the KWM Contemporary First Nations Art Award will be announced on 3 November 2020, with an exhibition planned in Melbourne in July 2021 at fortyfivedownstairs.

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