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From 19 March to 01 March 2020


From 19 March to 01 March 2020

Touring exhibition throughout South America

"O Tempo Dos Sonhos -


Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art

Touring exhibition throughout South America

Curated by Djon Mundine AO and Adrian Newstead OAM

CAIXA Cultural presents OUT OF THE DREAMING: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art, an international show visiting Latin America for the very first time and bringing artworks from a remote land which still shares common characteristics with Brazil. Organized in association with 2 Levels, Ta ana Flores Produções and Coo-ee Art Gallery, the exhibition features an emblematic selection of contemporary Australian art produced by the Aboriginal artists from that country.

Canvases, sculptures and paintings using various materials gracefully decorate the walls of the rooms at CAIXA Cultural Sao Paulo and provide visitors with an opportunity to experience a culture that integrated itself and was integrated into their settlers' culture. It also encourages a reflection on the different colonial models and their impacts on art and the culture of the peoples.

Hence, by making this project possible, CAIXA contributes to critical thinking and education of the people, thus proving again its commitment to Brazilians. Since its foundation back in 1861, its has been working hard to raise the quality of life of the people. In addition to its role

as a government bank and partner in the governmental policies, CAIXA supports and stimulates culture, especially to make the events tour the seven units of CAIXA Cultural.

It is not easy to reach so many people and places, but this is a challenge that is worth facing. After all, for CAIXA, life asks for more!


Australian Indigenous art has a most significant place in the history of Australia. Indeed, it can justifiably claim to be the art of the oldest continuous living culture in the world.

This exhibition pays tribute to and shows the richness of that culture and the way in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to practice their age-old art traditions, including in new contemporary mediums.

The creative arts are means by which artists are able to communicate, to share their stories, histories and unique cultures with peoples from all over the world. This exhibition, which will tour several cities in Brazil during 2016, includes works by many of Australia's finest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders artists. The realisation of this exhibition also demonstrates the vital role galleries, art consultants, and important national institutions can play as brokers in that communication process.

This exhibition creates an opportunity for reflection and a meeting of cultures. I hope that the artworks resonate with Brazilian artists and people, who represent such a range of different cultural traditions.

I congratulate and express my appreciation to the Caixa Cultural for supporting this wonderful exhibition, the most significant collection of Australian Indigenous art to be exhibited in Brazil.

It is an added pleasure that this wonderful exhibition has been arranged as an important part of the Australian now festival.

Thanks also to 2 Levels Exhibitions and Coo-ee Art Gallery, Sydney, which have brought this dynamic exhibition to Brazil, and to Kangaroo Tours, Miller  Co. and Tatiana Flores Produções and all the curators and arts workers in both countries that have supported this project.

I am sure that everyone who visits will be well rewarded and enriched by this magnificent visual presentation of Aboriginal art. - Mr. John Richardson


Anne and I have just returned from a whirlwind trip to South America during which we visited Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Beside sheer enjoyment, our purpose was to attend the opening of our touring exhibition O Tempo Dos Sonhos (Out of the Dreaming) in Recife, participate in two soirée’s/book launches to which journalists, curators and art enthusiasts were invited, and to meet with Australian consular officials and local Museum directors in order to extend the tour beyond 2019.

The exhibition O Tempo Dos Sonhos (Out of the Dreaming) was created for presentation during the DEFAT sponsored Australia Now Festival held Sao Paulo in April 2016 as a precursor to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. It was developed by myself (Cooee Art Director Adrian Newstead), and Indigenous Art Curator Djon Mundine, in collaboration with the International Curator Clay D'Paula and sponsored by the Caixa Foundation, the cultural arm of Brazil’s second largest Bank. Following its outstanding success in Sao Paulo (population 12 million), the Caixa Foundation hosted the exhibition during the following two years in Rio de Janiero (6.5 million), Brazilia (2.9 million), Curatiba (1.9 million), Forteleza (2.6 million) and Recife (1.6 million) while the International car manufacturer Fiat sponsored the exhibition in Belo Horizonte (2 million). Additional 2018 venues are located in Salvador (2.9 million) and the picturesque heritage city of Ouro Preto.

The exhibition was specifically devised to engage and develop South American audiences by drawing upon the curator's collective experience in that region. Djon Mundine previously organised Aboriginal art exhibitions for the Havana Biennale, and the Pinocoteca do Estado de Sao Paolo in 2002 while Clay de Paula and I presented the Aboriginal exhibition Heroic Narrative which included artworks that had featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2010 at venues in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro during 2012. A duel Australian/Brazilian citizen with a Masters Degree in Art  Curatorship from the University of Sydney, Clay de Paula has been promoting Aboriginal Art in Latin America since 2013 in collaboration with Cooee Art Gallery.

Our curatorial approach was particularly influenced by the ground-breaking exhibition Mestiso Histories, staged at the Tomiotake Museum in Sao Paolo during 2015. This exhibition examined the colonial experience of Brazil as seen through the eyes of artists commenting on the inter-racial history of the Portuguese settlers, former African slaves and Indigenous people of Brazil. The Aboriginal Australian works selected by the curators for the O Tempo Dos Sonhos were thoughtfully selected to draw parallels between the colonial history of Australian Aboriginal communities and that experienced by the first nations peoples of South America through artworks drawn from Australian collections spanning the period of 60 years. Exposure to Aboriginal Art is relatively new to this audience and the curatorial team included specific references in the catalogue essays and the exhibition itself which compare the separate but parallel histories of indigenous cultures and communities in Australia and South America. They also posed the question: How did indigenous artists in Australia make the transition from producing curio’s and items of purely ethnographic interest into highly valued and internationally recognised ‘contemporary’ art while that of the Indigenous Latin Americans failed to do so?

This project promoting the art of 73 Aboriginal artists to South American audiences for the first time, has been specifically targeted to create a new audience in South America for Aboriginal Art and all things Australian. It has created the opportunity for education, cultural exchange and developing artistic and curatorial relationships while building interest in Australian Indigenous art, Australian inbound Tourism, and Australian cultural products in Latin and Central America. Brazil’s middle and upper-income earners are more numerous than the entire population of Australia. The potential for inbound tourism and trade in cultural products is unlimited.

This exhibition includes artworks by many of the seminal leaders of the various regional indigenous movements (such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Rover Thomas, and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri) as well as showcasing artworks by more than 30 currently living and practicing artists. There is a pressing imperative to develop new audiences for Aboriginal art. Investment in production from various levels of government must be matched by market development and promotion. The number of galleries exhibiting Aboriginal art in Australia has halved in the past decade - earnings in remote art centres have fallen by 126% (Ninti One report).

Over 500,000 visitors have already seen this powerful and vibrant collection of Aboriginal art in Brazil. It is expected that up to one million people will eventually see and visit the exhibition (this forecast is based on the published number of people that visit exhibitions at the participating venues each year). The exhibition will potentially reach over 40 million people through radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and social media.

To date workshops and symposia with South American artists, arts administrators and curators have been held in Belo Horizonte and Curitiba. Presenters have included Ilana Goldstein (Brazilian Anthropologist and specialist in Australian Aboriginal Art), Juliana Podolan Martins (specialist in Indigenous Art), Carolina Lock (respected Brazilian Art Curator), Gustavo Malucelli (Latin American Indigenous artist) , Djon Mundine (Aboriginal Art Curator from Australia) , Clay D’Paula (Art Curator and Cultural Producer), Willurai Kirkbright (Australian Aboriginal artist) and Ricardo Resende (renowned South American Contemporary Art Curator), while I have conducted soiree’s and book events in several of the cities visited by the exhibition. In Belo Horizonte alone, thousands of school children visited the exhibition and many of these took advantage of the education workshop facility provided by the gallery.  These workshops for young people and the symposia aim to build a support network for the further development of a market for Aboriginal art in Latin America.

In Brazil, the exhibition has been greatly supported by the Australian Ambassador(s) Patrick Lawless and John Richardson, Consular staff, Austrade, and DFAT through it Council of Latin American and Australian Relations (COALA) as well as Australian and Brazilian companies involved in the arts and business and education sectors - such as the Caixa Foundation, Kangaroo Travel and Latino Australia Education.

Brazil's population of 210 million people includes 25 million at the top socio-economic level (i.e. as large a potential audience as Australia's total population). Australians and Brazilians share a love of nature, vibrant colour, and rich and divergent cultures. This exhibition includes art by more than 70 indigenous artists that have come from more than 20 community art centres and individual artist's agents.

At its first venue in Sao Paulo, the exhibition generated $AUD335,000 in publicity for an investment in media of just $AUD25,000. For a small sample only of the vast publicity and media generated by the exhibition during the past 3 years view the following links: aborigenes-da-australia.html"

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