Oz mission showcases "a riot of colour and energy" through Balgo contemporary art

Posted By: Anita Nair
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New Delhi, Dec. 16 (ANI): The Australian High Commission is proud to present the acclaimed exhibition of contemporary Indigenous Australian art, Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills.

A riot of colour and energy, Balgo explores the stories, lives and history of the Kukatya language speakers in the Balgo Hills, Western Australia.

Australia's High Commissioner to India, Peter N Varghese, said "this exhibition has toured the world and we are proud to present it in India, a country with a deep appreciation of the art and cultures of Indigenous people the world over."

"This display of contemporary expression is a celebration of the rich cultural tradition of Australia's Indigenous people, and the strong connection between their culture and landscape."

Contemporary Indigenous Australian art is an exciting and vigorous expression of one of the world's most ancient artistic traditions.

Balgo Hills is a small Indigenous community on the outskirts of the Great Sandy Desert and the Tanami Desert of northeast Western Australia. It is one of Australia's most remote settlements. The works in this exhibition are inspired by the visual characteristics and dynamic palette of the landscape of the western desert.

Balgo is an initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in conjunction with Artbank, the Australian Government's national contemporary art rental scheme.

An expanded cultural program with India

Mr Varghese said "Australia is expanding our cultural exchange program with India and Indian audiences will see more regular and more diverse displays of Australian art."

"In 2012 Australia will present a showcase of Australian culture across India. This program will present the depth and freshness of Australian contemporary culture which draws on the richness of our multicultural society. And it will be built around some of the exciting artistic collaborations between Australian and Indian artists."

"Cultural exchange between our two countries is a critical step as we build understanding between our two nations. It complements all that is happening between our countries in the economic and political relationship."

He added "it is worth noting the increasing interest and appreciation for Indian art and culture in Australia, from bollywood films to kathak dancing and the music of India's classical masters.

In the past 12 months Australian audiences have embraced performances by sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka, the Mozart of Madras A R Rahman, and bollywood musical supremo Kailash Kher. A packed house watched the launch of Aamir Khan's latest film Peepli Live at the Melbourne International Film Festival this July. And more Australian artists than ever are travelling to India to seek inspiration and cultural exchange."

Balgo will be on view at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi from 16 December 2010 - 7 January 2011 and at the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh from 15 - 23 January 2011. (ANI)

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