Gulumbu Yunupingu from Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land, has won the People’s Choice Award of $5,000 in the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2010.
Our diverse Gallery audience have responded to the talent and delicate sensibility of Yunupingu’s artworks. Her entrancing paintings on bark and carved wood of Garak, The Universe and Ganyu, Stars , depict an infinite universe of stars, shared by all. They show true innovation, while embodying understandings of Yolngu belief systems and contemporary life. Yunupingu’s works, along with all the other finalists in this year’s Award will be on display until 3 January 2011.
Over 1900 votes were cast, a great improvement on the total number of votes from the previous year and once again confirming the growing popularity of the exhibition. Gulumbu Yunupingu received the highest number of votes, with Pauline Moran and Richard Bell receiving second and third place respectively.
The Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards, Australia’s richest contemporary Indigenous art award, was founded in 2008 to celebrate the diversity and richness of Indigenous art from across the country. In its first three years, the award has gone from strength to strength, with over 580 nominations received from arts organisations nationally.
The awards comprise a group exhibition of outstanding art and three non-acquisitive awards:
o The Western Australian Indigenous Art Award of $50,000
This was won in 2010 by Wakartu Cory Surprise.
o The Western Australian Artist Award of $10,000
This was won in 2010 by Sonia Kurarra.
o The People’s Choice Award of $5,000
This was won 2010 by Gulumbu Yunupingu.
Stefano Carboni, Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, said, “Many congratulations to Gulumbu on her success in winning the People’s Choice award. I am delighted that the State Government has announced that the Gallery will again be hosting the awards in 2011. The Gallery is grateful for the commitment from the Indigenous arts community to these awards, and looks forward to their continued support for this Western Australian initiative”.