Celebrating NAIDOC
July 7-14

Together with the National Gallery of Victoria, we invite you to discover a special NAIDOC Week program in celebration of First Nations
art and creativity. Join us at NGV Australia for a complimentary panel discussion, alongside workshops and live performances.

Learn more

Celebrating emerging First Nations artists
with the National Gallery of Victoria

First Nations Artists
My Country - Country Road + NGV First Nations

Together with the NGV, we invite you to experience My Country, a major exhibition now open at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. The inaugural series showcases the works of eight First Nations artists, developed with the support of esteemed industry mentors.

The first and only initiative of its kind in Australia, the Country Road + NGV First Nations Commissions pairs First Nations artists and designers with esteemed industry mentors, who support and guide the artists to create new and ambitious works.

Mentors from each of the Australian states and territories are invited by the NGV to join the series, before nominating an emerging artist to guide through the conception, development and creation of a major work. The nominated artists represent a diverse range of artistic and creative disciplines, ranging from weaving and textiles, to installation, painting and more.

The aim of the Commission series is to acknowledge and nurture the creative relationships between artists and their mentors around the country. The mentorship is structured to reflect and champion the storytelling and knowledge-sharing systems that exist within First Nations communities.

Following the exhibition, each artist's work will be represented in the NGV Collection, establishing an important legacy for future generations.

The Country Road + NGV First Nations Commissions creates a major new platform for First Nations art and design in Australia. The unique mentorship format—the only one of its kind in Australia—offers a career-defining opportunity to emerging practitioners to create a new work under the guidance of a respected mentor. Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria

The inaugural recipients of the Country Road + NGV First Nations Commissions:

Tony Albert

Tony Albert
Mentor | QLD

Warraba Weatherall

Warraba Weatherall
Artist | QLD

Tony Albert has achieved extraordinary visibility and critical acclaim for his visual art practice, which combines text, video, drawing, painting and three-dimensional objects. Examining the legacy of racial and cultural misrepresentation, particularly of Australia's Aboriginal people, Albert has developed a universal language that seeks to rewrite historical mistruths and injustice.

Warraba Weatherall is a Kamilaroi artist, researcher, curator and cultural scholar. By drawing from Indigenous knowledges and experience, Warraba presents alternate ways of seeing and understanding to contribute to a cross-cultural dialogue. He currently works across the mediums of painting and sculpture, and his studio-based research aims to regenerate Indigenous knowledge systems within a contemporary arts practice.

Maree Clarke

Maree Clarke
Mentor | VIC

Mitch Mahoney

Mitch Mahoney
Artist | VIC

Maree Clarke is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman, and pivotal figure in the reclamation of south-east Australian Aboriginal art practices. Known for her open and collaborative approach to cultural practice, Maree embraces art as a medium to inspire others to reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Mitch Mahoney is a Boonwurrung and Barkinji artist. He was born in north-west Victoria in Mildura along the banks of the Murray River where he lived for the first part of his life. Mitch's practice has a strong focus on the revitalisation of south-eastern Aboriginal cultural practices, and the process of sharing skills with community.

Peggy Griffiths

Peggy Griffiths
Mentor | WA

Jan Griffiths

Jan Griffiths
Artist | WA

Peggy Griffiths is a highly respected senior artist at Waringarri Arts, located in the heart of Miriwoong Country at Kununurra, East Kimberley. Her paintings are delicate in colour and style, using natural ochre pigments with fine brushwork to depict her Country.

Jan Gunjaka Griffiths is a prolific artist currently working across painting, ceramics and poetry. Her work explores personal family narratives which have also included multimedia installations, fashion and photography.

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones
Mentor | NSW

Sophie Honess

Sophie Honess
Artist | NSW

Jonathan Jones is a Sydney-based artist of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of south-east Australia. He works closely with communities to create a range of projects that talk to both the historical and contemporary. His projects are grounded in research and work with Elders and community to tell local stories.

Sophie Honess is a Gomeroi Yinarr based in Tamworth, New South Wales. She has been creating textile art professionally for the past five years. Her works respond to her immediate environment, finding and exploring hidden beauty on Gomeroi country through colour and texture.

Vincent Namatjira OAM

Vincent Namatjira OAM
Mentor | SA

Alec Baker and Eric Barney

Alec Baker and Eric Barney
Artist | SA

Western Aranda artist Vincent Namatjira is recognised internationally for his paintings that reference Australia's colonial history, First Nations histories and contemporary aspects of Indigenous life. In 2020, Namatjira was the recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in honour of his contribution to Indigenous visual arts and was the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize.

Alec Baker and Eric Barney are a collaborative painting duo, who have worked together since 2017. Baker is recognised as a respected Elder and cultural authority, known for his extensive knowledge of Country. Eric Barney grew up in Indulkana Community, where he continues to live and work. Barney has been guided and mentored on painting technique and cultural protocol by the senior men at Iwantja Arts.

Denise Robinson

Denise Robinson
Mentor | TAS

Sophie Honess

Cheryl Rose
Artist | TAS

Denise Robinson is a palawa (Trawlwoolway) woman with Scottish/English matrilineage. The greater part of Denise's work within the creative sector is towards building capacity for Tasmanian Aboriginal practitioners. An artist, administrator, advisor, broker and mentor, she has held a diverse range of roles across government, business, community, and industry sectors as well as managing her own arts practice.

Cheryl Rose is a Pataway/Burnie-based artist located on the north-west of lutruwita/Tasmania. She is currently working in a range of mediums, from paints to printing and etchings, and expanding to digital and video. Cheryl is inspired by coastal lands, sea and all that's within, place, community and culture.

James Tylor

James Tylor
Mentor | ACT

Aidan Hartshorn

Aidan Hartshorn
Artist | ACT

James Tylor is a multidisciplinary visual artist whose practice explores Australian environment, culture and social history through photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, sound, scent and food. James explores Australian cultural representations through the perspectives of his multicultural heritage that comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te Arawa) and European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch and Norwegian) ancestry.

Aidan Hartshorn is a Wiradjuri and Walgalu man. His practice often engages Walgalu culture and Country, which is situated in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales and of the Ngurmal Nation. Through his practice, Aidan explores the destructiveness of colonial processes and the connections to Country he and his people have with the ever-changing landscape.

Pedro Wonaeamirri

Pedro Wonaeamirri
Mentor | NT

Johnathon World Peace Bush

Johnathon World Peace Bush
Artist | NT

Pedro Wonaeamirri was born in 1974 at Pirlangimpi on Melville Island. His Country is Goose Creek, Melville Island, his skin group Mulipurrula (White Cockatoo) and dance Jilarti (Brolga). Wonaeamirri works across various mediums including natural ochres on paper, linen and bark, print-making and carving. In his art practice, Wonaeamirri works within the strong Tiwi tradition of using pwoja (customary Tiwi comb), describing his works as an extension of the pukumani ceremonial body designs.

Johnathon World Peace Bush expresses his views on equality, culture, art, and language through painting, writing, and song. Bush's ochre paintings present a unique combination of Tiwi culture and his personal views on global politics, family, and cultural heritage.