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BHP welcomes TARNANTHI Festival back to South Australia in 2017

Following its hugely successful inaugural event in 2015, the award-winning TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art returns to South Australia this week.

TARNANTHI is BHP’s largest cultural investment in South Australia. Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of South Australia and supported by the Government of South Australia, the Festival brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to share their stories and culture through works of art.

This year, TARNANTHI will feature more than 1000 artists from around Australia across 24 exhibitions throughout Adelaide. This builds on the success of the 2015 Festival, which saw total audiences at TARNANTHI exhibitions and events exceeded 311,000 – making it the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural event ever staged in South Australia.

Jacqui McGill, Asset President at Olympic Dam, said BHP was thrilled to be part of the Festival and incredibly proud to continue to support TARNANTHI as part of a landmark five-year partnership.

"TARNANTHI is a visible celebration of the important contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to society."

"Earlier this year as part of our partnership, I was lucky enough to travel to some of the remote art centres featured in the Festival. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only meet some of Australia’s best contemporary artists, but see firsthand how their passion and talent for art is helping to support their communities."

Artistic Director and Curator from the Art Gallery of South Australia, Nici Cumpston, was very pleased to accompany Ms McGill for this experience.

"Thanks to the generosity of the artists and art centre managers, we were given an intimate view of the art centre as a community hub, demonstrating how it is a place for senior artists to pass on knowledge to younger artists.”

In 2015, TARNANTHI’s two-day Art Fair attracted 5,500 visitors and generated over $450,000 in direct sales to artists and art centres.

Ms McGill said while this was an incredible result, she hoped it was only the start.

"We believe that through our partnership, this Festival can continue to make a difference for generations to come."

"On behalf of BHP, I acknowledge the commitment of the South Australian Government and Art Gallery of South Australia for providing a platform which allows all South Australians to not only support, but better understand, contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.”

The major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia will run until 28 January, 2018. The city-wide Festival includes a series of exhibitions, artist talks and events, presented in key cultural institutions throughout Adelaide. The Festival caters for a wide range of audiences with specific activities planned for young children and teens.

TARNANTHI was recognised at the 2016 Premier’s Community Excellence Awards in Mining and Energy, with BHP, the South Australian Government and the Art Gallery of South Australia jointly receiving the Award for Excellence in Supporting Communities.