News & events > London Royal Academy of Arts | Australia exhibition | Aboriginal performance project
21 Sep 2013 - 08 Dec 2013

London Royal Academy of Arts | Australia exhibition | Aboriginal performance project



The Royal Academy of Arts, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia, presents a major Australian art exhibition in London from 21 September - 8 December 2013. Marking the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years, the AUSTRALIA exhibition will span more than 200 years from 1800 to the present day and seeks to uncover the fascinating social and cultural evolution of a nation through its art. The story of Australia is inextricably linked to its landscape and for Australian artists, this deep connection has provided a rich seam of inspiration for centuries. Two hundred works including painting, drawing, photography, watercolours and multimedia will shed light on a period of rapid and intense change; from the impact of colonisation on an indigenous people, to the pioneering nation building of the 19th century through to the enterprising urbanisation of the last 100 years. To mount this ambitious exhibition, works have been drawn from some of the most important public collections in Australia, many of which have never been seen in the UK before. Reflecting the vastness of the land and the diversity of its people, early, as well as contemporary Aboriginal art will sit alongside the work of the early colonial settlers, immigrant artists of the 20th century and the work of some of today’s most established Australian artists. 27-29 November: award winning Aboriginal performance Namatjira at Southbank Centre, London Come and experience the award-winning Aboriginal performance Namatjira, from Central Australia - 3 nights only, at Southbank Centre in London.  Created by Australia’s renowned inter-cultural ensemble Big hART, and coinciding with the Royal Academy’s Australia Exhibition, this unique event tells the story of the extraordinary indigenous artist - Albert Namatjira. As a boy Albert Namatjira walked from the desert to the shock of meeting white people for the first time, then quickly mastered the difficult art of watercolour, selling his pictures to keep 600 extended family members from hunger. Bestowed with citizenship when Aboriginal people were still considered flora and fauna, his career started the indigenous art centre movement, his art revealed the desert inland to suburban living rooms, and his paintings were presented to a young Queen Elizabeth on her Coronation tour. In doing so Albert changed Australia forever… Why then did he die a broken man? The Namatjira Project is more than just a performance – it is a documentary, visual art, tour de force theatre and social change experience, created in partnership with the Namatjira family and communities descended from Albert Namatjira in the Central Australian Desert. Image: Shaun Gladwell, 'Approach to Mundi Mundi', 2007 | Production still from two-channel HD video. Photo Josh Raymond. © Shaun Gladwell / Josh Raymond.