Telstra NATSIAA Finalists announced for 2021


Photo: Damian Kelly

This year's Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) Finalists have been announced for 2021.


Featuring 65 artists from around Australia, NATSIAA is Australia’s longest running and most prestigious Indigenous art awards. This year is the 38th Telstra NATSIAA exhibition and aims to showcase the very best in Australian Indigenous art by contemporary artists from across Australia.


Each year, the Telstra NATSIAA exhibition captures the attention of the nation with an inspiring breadth of work from emerging and established artists. In 2021, Telstra NATSIAA has seen an increasing variety of art forms and media, collectively demonstrating the richness and diversity of current contemporary Indigenous artistic practice, and the pre-eminence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, nationwide, within the visual arts.


The four finalist artists of interest are:

  • Dennis Golding is a Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist from the north west of NSW and was born and lives in Sydney. Working in a range of mixed media including painting, video, photography and installation, Golding critiques the social, political and cultural representations of race and identity. His practice is drawn from his own experiences living in urban environments and through childhood memories. Golding was surrounded by art from his urban upbringing living in an Aboriginal community in Redfern (often referred to as ’The Block’). As a young child, he often watched his mother and grandmother paint on large canvas and sheen fabrics which depicted Australian native plants and animals, cultural motifs and human figures.


Photos: 2020 Telstra NATSIAA (Credit: Charlie Bliss)

  • Sally Scales is a Pitjantjatjara women from Pipalyatjara in the far west of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. At just 28 years of age, Sally is already achieving huge things in the art world: she is the youngest person ever elected as a Chairperson of the APY Executive Board and is part of the youth leadership team for the Uluru Statement reform. Sally turned her focus to her artistic practice in 2020 and has held her first exhibition at the APY Gallery in 2021. Sally paints alongside her mother in the APY Adelaide Studio.

  • Quandamooka woman Elisa Jane Carmichael is a multidisciplinary artist who honours her salt-water heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, embracing traditional techniques, and expressing contemporary adaptations through painting, weaving, and textiles. She comes from a family of artists and curators, and works closely with her female kin to revive, nurture and preserve cultural knowledge and practice. Elisa is a descendant of the Ngugi people, traditional custodians of Quandamooka, which comprises the lands around Moreton Bay.

  • Kyra Mancktelow is a Quandamooka, Nughi woman of Moorgumpin, or Moreton Island. An emerging artist, her work traverses painting, print work and sculpturing. Kyra is currently studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at QCA, Griffith University. Her Telstra NATSIAA artwork investigates victims of the Myora mission, located on Minjerribah.


2019 Telstra NATSIAA

The exhibition will run 7 August 2021 to 6 February 2022 at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in Darwin. Award winners will be announced Friday 6 August 2021.


More details found on the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory website.