2018 Australia Council and National Indigenous Arts Awards open for nominations

Lynette Narkle, Lisa Maza, Ancestress / Teila Watson, and Dr Ken Thaiday Snr - photo by Maja BaskaThe Australia Council for the Arts has announced that nominations for its two high profile national arts awards programs, the Australia Council Awards and the National Indigenous Arts Awards, are now open.

The prestigious Australia Council Awards recognise artists across a range of practice areas, including music, literature, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre, dance, and community arts and cultural development. First Nations artists also have the opportunity to be nominated for the highly respected National Indigenous Arts Awards.

Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AO, said the awards provide an important opportunity to celebrate Australia’s exceptional artistic talent, and to recognise leadership which contributes significantly to the vibrancy and dynamism of our national arts sector.

“We recognise the power of the arts to challenge, provoke, and inspire. These awards are a way of acknowledging the role artists play in shaping Australia’s cultural identity,” said Mr Myer. “These awards honour artists who are central to Australia’s international reputation for excellent artistic practice, fearless experimentation and rich storytelling traditions.”

The National Indigenous Arts Awards recognise excellence in both established and emerging First Nations artists. The Red Ochre Award for lifetime achievement has an extraordinary list of alumni, and for the first time in 2017 two were awarded, recognising Dr Ken Thaiday Senior and Lynette Narkle.

The Dreaming Award for emerging artists (aged 18-26) has supported impressive young Indigenous artists to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships. The 2017 recipient was Ancestress / Teila Watson. The National Indigenous Arts Awards are decided by a national panel of Indigenous arts peers.

Nominations for both the Australia Council Awards and the National Indigenous Arts Awards are now open and close on Tuesday 3 October 2017. Artists must be nominated by another individual or organisation and cannot self-nominate.

Image: Winners of the 2017 National Indigenous Arts Awards – Lynette Narkle, Lisa Maza, Ancestress / Teila Watson, and Dr Ken Thaiday Snr – photo by Maja Baska