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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours

NAIDOC Week 2020 tours of Yiribana

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Marlene Rubuntja Woman with Dilly Bags and Dilly Bag Hat 2019, Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors’ Group 2019 © Marlene Rubuntja, courtesy Yarrenyty Arltere Artists; Lucky Kngwarreye Dog c1990, Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Christopher Hodges and Helen Eager 2007 © Lucky Kngwarreye; Trudy Inkamala Woman with Dilly Bags 2019, Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors’ Group 2019 © Trudy Inkamala

Daily tours of Yiribana Gallery from 9-15 November before Art Gallery of NSW moves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art front and centre as part of expansion.

The Gallery expansion, known as the Sydney Modern Project and scheduled to open in late 2022, is creating a new, prominent destination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art to be showcased in the new SANAA-designed building and across the entire campus.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art will be presented with unprecedented ambition, delivering commissions emerging from longstanding relationships with artists and communities. 

Art Gallery of New South Wales director Michael Brand said: “Works by Indigenous artists will be the first that visitors encounter as they enter the new building, installed in a dedicated 960 sqm gallery significantly larger than the current Yiribana space in our existing building.

“Works from the Gallery’s internationally significant permanent collection will also be displayed as part of the curatorial narrative across the campus, celebrating Australia’s enduring cultural heritage and its myriad contemporary expressions,” Brand added.

As part of this vision, the space currently occupied by the current Yiribana space, three levels down in the existing building, will become part of the Gallery’s expanded library – a key project of the revitalisation of the existing building.

During ongoing construction of the Sydney Modern Project works will be shown in the existing building across three galleries on the ground floor, including the space currently hosting Joy, a free exhibition of objects and short films from across the Central Desert, and a celebration of the joy of making and sharing culture and life together.

Art Gallery of NSW senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Cara Pinchbeck, said moving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art to more prominent spaces throughout both buildings is a welcome milestone for the Gallery.

“Positioning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the forefront of our Gallery expansion celebrates the essential place it holds in the shared history and identity of this country and I can’t wait to show artists their work in its new home,” Pinchbeck said.

NAIDOC Week 2020 tours of Yiribana Gallery
Join us at the Gallery and online during NAIDOC Week 2020, 8 – 15 November, for a special program of events for all ages including talks, tours and family fun inspired by this year’s theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.

Enjoy a free Indigenous-led guided tour of the Yiribana Gallery before it closes in its current location on November 15. Meet at the tour sign near the information desk and register to attend as places are limited, Monday 9 – Sunday 15 November at 11am-12pm.

Visit Joy during NAIDOC Week and collect your free take home ‘Make art’ activity for families. Be inspired by Western Aranda artist Judith Inkamala who paints her Country near Ntaria (Hermannsburg) to create an artwork that is filled with birds.

Don’t miss the special NAIDOC Week Art After Hours Online, livestreamed from the Gallery’s Facebook and YouTube channels, free. Watch artist and Archibald Prize finalist Blak Douglas and Aboriginal rights activist Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts in conversation to discuss sovereignty and the ways they celebrate and amplify First Nations stories through their work and creative practice on Wednesday 11 November at 7.30pm AEDT; and see Art Gallery of NSW curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art Coby Edgar in conversation with artist Marlene Rubuntja about her stunning soft sculptures in Joy, their friendship and the importance of community, culture and creativity on Wednesday 18 November at 7.30pm AEDT.

For full details visit the NAIDOC Week 2020 page.

UPDATE: Please note the Yiribana Gallery will now remain open until 31 January 2021

Media contact

Simone Bird
Tel 02 9225 1674
simone.bird@ag.nsw.gov.au