I'm not sure why the announcement has been made prior to tonight's official presentations on the lawns of the NT Museum and Art Gallery at Bullocky Point but the 27th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) winners have been announced earlier than usual and
Seventy-year-old Jimmy Donegan with his first ever entrance into an art competition has taken out two prizes including the $4,000 general painting award, as well as the coveted $40,000 first prize for his artwork Papa Tjukurpa, Pukara.
Here is the winning artwork:
The media reports lit up shortly after midday and the winners were announced after what Crikey described as an "embargo" that was mercifully lifted after being put in place yesterday.
It was also apparently the worst kept secret around Darwin. Although i just spoke with prominant people within the aboriginal art industry who are in Darwin as we speak and they did not know who the winner was or that there was to be a premature announcement! I informed them after a google alert tipped me off!
See this article at Crikey. The reporter clearly knew who the winners were yesterday and was happy to brag about that. It would have been nice if they could have kept it under wraps until tonight's presentation. The media held off since at least yesterday, why not a few more hours? Was there pressure from the media to have the story out before close of business today? Did the organisers feel pressured to make the announcement at midday or risk the media doing it for them? I have no idea but it seems strange!
I have attended Telstra many times and whilst every year produced many rumours on the day before and in the hours leading up to the event, the "good mail" was often way off!
But I'd like to say, no matter when it was announced , congratulations to Jimmy on his win! I'm happy to see an artwork that embodies what i believe is a true reflection of Aboriginal Art win the big prize!
I think it is a very striking artwork and a worthy winner. I like it a lot but i want to see it in the flesh, and i look forward to doing so very soon!
Another article on the Telstra Aboriginal Art Awards at ABC online.
The SMH announced the winner of the Aboriginal painting award with this article titled Desert man wins indigenous art award not long after 12 today!
Interesting to hear the finer details of the timing of this announcement.
More to come............