The Meeting Place, Parliament House, Canberra | 17 August to 12 November 2017
When I was a young feller they flew me in from Alice Springs to Canberra, and they asked me, they went and asked me if I could to do a mosaic in front of Parliament House. The circle in the middle is the most important one, I always put a circle first… and from there, dotting, white, stories, kangaroo came across, another came from another end and another from another end, they all meet up at that ceremony place – Michael Nelson Jagamara 2017
Two major artists in their own right, Michael Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers have also worked together since 2001, sending canvas boards backwards and forwards between their studios in Papunya NT and Cooma NSW to create significant large scale collaborative works which reference Indigenous and European art traditions. This exhibition will include the Parliament’s recent major acquisition of their collaborative work The Messenger which will be seen alongside significant earlier works by both artists that reference Jagamara’s original design for the forecourt mosaic of Australian Parliament House and the concentric circles at the heart of the design. These concentric circles represent a dreaming site of great personal significance but Michael Nelson says it is equally applicable to: ‘this place (Parliament House) where all people come and meet together, just like we do in our ceremonies to discuss and work things out together.’ The exhibition is a meeting place where collaborative and individual works highlight a critical dialogue between two of Australia’s most significant artists.
I think art can bring people together. Only through doing something better – Imants Tillers 2017