A major exhibition of Indigenous Australian art from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection will run at the Queensland Art Gallery from July 22 until October 22, 2017.

Sung into Being: Aboriginal Masterworks 1984-94 draws together more than 100 works by eight major artists from the Maningrida region in central Arnhem Land, N.T. and the Kimberley, W.A.

Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the exhibition is an important addition to the Queensland cultural precinct program.

“This exhibition offers wonderful and varied cultural experiences for local, interstate and international visitors,” Palaszczuk said.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Rover Joolama Thomas (c.1926–1998), Jack Wunuwun (1930–91), John Bulunbulun (1946–2010), Jack Kalakala (1925–87), Les Mirrikkuriya (1932-95), England Banggala (1925–2001) and Terry Ngamandara Wilson (1950–2011). From the creative period when these Indigenous artists were exploring new ground, the works were acquired with great foresight by Janet Holmes à Court and her husband Robert (1937–1990).

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said Sung into Being celebrates songs and ceremonies connected with the creation of the land, embodied by rich poetic narratives in paintings and sculptures.

“‘Sung into Being’ offers audiences a unique opportunity to access works by a seminal group of Indigenous Australian artists with an intimate knowledge of their creation stories and clan lands,” Saines said.

Diane Moon, Curator of Indigenous Fibre Art, QAGOMA, said Sung into Being gives particular focus to Thomas, one of the first Indigenous Australian artists acquired for the Holmes à Court Collection.

“Thomas is a renowned figure. He forged new conventions in Aboriginal art and created new opportunities for the East Kimberley school of artists. He also opened the way for the general acceptance of Aboriginal art both nationally and internationally,” Moon said.

Read about Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira here.