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Capital Life

What's happening in the arts in Canberra


The National Museum Australia has unveiled an exhibition of new Aboriginal art from the Western Desert. The collection, Warakurna: All the Stories Got into our Minds and Eyes, is an exhibition of paintings, woven fibre and carved wood sculptures produced at a community at the foot of the Rawlinson Ranges in Western Australia called Warakurna. The community is 300 kilometres west of Uluru. Director of the museum Andrew Sayers says the works came from a new movement in art, and the paintings were more figurative in style than traditional Western Desert art. The artists have used the paintings to document their history - the coming of explorers, prospectors and missionaries, building roads, missile testing and their return to their homeland. ''The painters of Warakurna have produced a unique and original body of artworks,'' Sayers says. ''They are extremely valuable and intriguing as first-hand accounts of significant events in the life of an Aboriginal community.'' The exhibition will be on display until November 3, 2013. Admission is free. The museum is open from 9am until 5pm daily. The museum is located on Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula.


Congratulations to the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) for its thoughtful gift to our regional neighbours. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the NFSA partnered with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to present the Timorese Government with a comprehensive profile of material on Timor-Leste, held in Australia's national audiovisual collection. A special hardback copy of The NFSA Timor-Leste Collection Profile was presented by Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, to Vice-Prime Minister Fernando ''Lasama'' de Araujo at the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in Dili on December 13. The NFSA has collected many items including documentaries and newsreels, feature films and mini-series, radio and television news, published music, and oral histories. More information is available at


Canberra gallery Bilk is showing a touring exhibition of works from some of Australia's leading contemporary jewellery and glass artists. The exhibition Bilk on Tour has come back to Canberra for its final showing and has arrived just in time for Christmas. The collection has been shown at the Incinerator Gallery in Moonee Valley, Melbourne, and the Incinerator Art Space in Willoughby, Sydney. The Bilk Gallery will showcase a rotating exhibition of works in the lead-up to Christmas. The touring collection showcases work from Klaus Moje, Kirstie Rea, Mel Douglas and Scott Chaseling, as well as jewellery from Simon Cottrel, Marian Hosking, Carlier Makigawa, Vicki Mason and objects from Canberra favourite Robert Foster of Fink Design. The gallery is at 12 Palmerston Lane, Manuka, and is open Saturday from 11am-5pm.


If you love Cockington Green for its miniatures, you may well love the Big Objects collection at the National Museum of Australia for similar reasons. From fabulously big to terrific and tiny, it all comes down to size. The big objects exhibition is a virtual tour through Australia's treasured objects held in the National Museum's collection. Discover the stories behind these objects, based on the theme of travel. Share the passions of the people who made and owned them, and learn how they are cared for at the museum. Entry is free.