Malka Aboriginal Art Prize celebrates 10 years

EXHIBITION: The 2019 Malka Aboriginal Art Prize will run until July 15 at the Yarta Purtli Gallery.
EXHIBITION: The 2019 Malka Aboriginal Art Prize will run until July 15 at the Yarta Purtli Gallery.

The spellbinding selection at the 2019 Malka Aboriginal Art Prize tells a story of survival, culture and family.

Close to 40 Indigenous artists and their works have been brought together by the Port Augusta Cultural Centre - Yarta Purtli to celebrate the exhibitions tenth year.

Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Facilitator Maria Anderson had the difficult job of curating the show.

"As you look around these galleries you'll see such magic with the paint brush," Ms Anderson said.

"The photographers capturing their moment of magic, artists using their hands as they weave and with the woodwork as they chisel, sand paper and put their finishing touches to their pieces.

"Some of these art pieces were done while the artists was at their lowest and they took the paint brush, or their art of choice, and wow. Let's just embrace this moment."

Gallery visitors are encouraged to vote on a 'Poeple's Choice' award.

Gallery visitors are encouraged to vote on a 'Poeple's Choice' award.

The exhibition was the brain child of the late Marvin McKenzie Senior, who's vision to have an Aboriginal art show ensured the Aboriginal community would have a space to showcase their work.

'Malka' is a word used by a number of Aboriginal language groups within the Port Augusta region, meaning mark or painting.

"This exhibition has had so many entries from children to Elders and what amazing work we have seen over the years with the artist a job well done," Ms Anderson said.

Adnyamathanha Elder Charlie Jackson has entered a piece for the first time.

The last time he seriously picked up a paintbrush was in the 70s, but Mr Jackson is hoping his twilight years will give him more time to revisit his passion for art.

ARTIST: Charlie Jackson tells the story of his Wilpena Pound landscape painting.

ARTIST: Charlie Jackson tells the story of his Wilpena Pound landscape painting.

His landscape painting stands out as one of the few pieces to not feature the traditional dot painting technique.

"Dot painting comes from the western desert communities and it's all about telling their stories. If you look at my art work, it's all about Wilpena Pound which has got an important meaning to it as well," Mr Jackson said.

"The Aboriginal name for it is Ikara and Ikara means a meeting place where people gathered and that's where the two rainbow serpent came together and attacked the people living there in the Dreamtime story.

"I won't tell my story through the dot painting because I believe the dot painting belongs to the western desert people, but I'll tell my story a different way through landscape painting."

Last year's winner Ashley Pompey has returned with another breath taking piece in the hopes of sharing over $2000 in prize money.

The exhibition will run for five weeks from Tuesday, June 11 to Monday, July 15.