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Tactility: two centuries of Indigenous objects, textiles and fibre

7 June – 28 September 2003

Tactility: two centuries of Indigenous objects, textiles and fibre showcases the brilliance and diversity of Indigenous cultural art practices and predominantly features works of art from the National Gallery of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection.

The exhibition covers two centuries starting with a beautiful 19th century carving in creamy soft stone from Mer (Murray Island) to the graceful and distinctive designs from Utopia in central Australia. This moves to contemporary, sculptural, woven objects from Arnhem Land, to transitional and innovative Torres Strait Islander dance-masks and head-dresses and finally, to politically-charged works by conceptual artists solidly-based in the 21st century.

'Tactility provides a splendid occasion for the Gallery to present exquisite works of art — previously often relegated to ethnographic and craft definitions and considered the ‘lesser’ cousins of other Indigenous works in the collection — to a better informed and more appreciative audience' says director Dr Brian Kennedy.

More than 100 works of art are included in the exhibition which will be on show at the Gallery until the 28 September 2003.

For further information please contact:

Stephen Gilchrist, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art +61 2 6240 6651, or
Public Affairs +61 2 6240 6431