Words: Charlotte Middleton
Six artworks by five distinguished Australian artists have been jointly acquired by The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in Sydney, and the Tate Modern, London, as part of the International Joint Acquisition Program for contemporary Australian art.
The program came about as a result of a generous $2.75 million corporate gift from the Qantas Foundation in 2015, and has seen the two prominent art institutions collaboratively acquire 35 works by 24 artists since its inception.
The new acquisitions include the sculptural work Untitled (Interiors) (2008) by Simryn Gill (Sydney and Malaysia), canvas painted in natural earth pigments Garnkiny (2013) by senior Gija artist Mabel Juli (East Kimberley, Western Australia), bark painting Baratjala (2020) by senior Yolŋu artist Noŋgirrŋa Marawili (East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory), the installation Remember Royalty (2018) by Kokatha and Nukunu artist Yhonnie Scarce (Melbourne) and two abstract paintings massacre inlet (1994) and memory scar, grevillea, mangrove pod (& net) (2020) by Waanyi artist Judy Watson (Queensland).
The works by Juli, Marawili, Watson, and will go on display for the first time at the Tate Modern as part of its expanded re-installation of the acclaimed collection exhibition A Year in Art: Australia 1992, on view until 14 May 2023. This presentation explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ relationship to Country, as well as colonisation’s ongoing impact on issues of representation, social injustice, and climate emergency.
Frances Morris, Tate Modern Director, commented: “We are thrilled to be welcoming many of the artists into Tate’s collection for the first time and look forward to sharing these significant works with our visitors.”
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Director, Suzanne Cotter, added: “The MCA and Tate International Joint Acquisition partnership continues to play a significant role in promoting contemporary Australian art and Australian artists to international audiences. We are delighted visitors to Tate Modern can see the works of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and learn about their culture and personal connections to land and history. We look forward to bringing these works back to the MCA for visitors to experience in the future.”
For further information on these artworks and to see the full list of International Joint visit, www.mca.com.au/artists-works/collection/mca-tate-and-qantas-acquisitions/Acquisitions.
This article was posted 24 August 2022.
Main image: Yhonnie Scarce, ‘Remember Royalty’, 2018. Archival photographs, water-based ink screen printed on vintage fabrics, hand blown glass, vintage objects. Installed dimensions variable. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Tate, with support from the Qantas Foundation in 2015, purchased 2022. Image courtesy and © the artist. Photograph: unknown.
Featured thumbnail image: Judy Watson, ‘memory scar, grevillea, mangrove pod (& net)’, 2020. Indigo, acrylic, graphite and linen thread on canvas, 224 x 181.5cm. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Tate, with suuport from the Qantas Foundation in 2015, purchased 2022.