Mon, 04 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], November 21 (ANI): The Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, visited the Australian High Commission on Monday to attend the showcase of upcoming exhibitions featuring Australian First Nations artists in India.

Speaking during the event, Penny Wong expressed interest that Australia wants to make connections between the first nation's culture and India together and said that "India is a global powerhouse in film.""We really want to bring the connection between our first nation's cultures and the cultures of India, together. We spoke a bit earlier about the Gondwana Art project, the Indian Gond Art from Central India which I am told base a similarity to some first nation art forms, will be explored in separate exhibitions participating in the Gondwana Art Project," she said.

She added, "This isn't just about history. It's also about the future and I was really pleased to announce an important agreement between India and Australia, which is the Audio Visual co-production agreement which will encourage collaboration and creative exchange...Now India is a global powerhouse in film. So it's pretty exciting to imagine what we can produce together, Bollywood in Brisbane, Melbourne in Mumbai, or something similar."Additionally, Australian High Commissioner to India, Philip Green expressed hope that the exhibitions will help Indians experience another part of Austranian vibrant culture.

"What an honour to showcase this diverse group of First Nations artists in India. I hope through these exhibitions people in India can experience another part of our vibrant Australian culture," he said.

The Founder of Gondwana Art Project, Sundeep Bhandari said, "Gondwana Art Project is very excited to announce our collaborative exhibition with Australian artists. Gond and Bhil art from the Gondwana region in central India have a remarkable similarity with the First Nations art from Australia. These artworks will showcase these cultural artforms evolving with modern times."Moreover, Fair Director, India Art Fair, Jaya Asokan said, "India Art Fair has always celebrated traditional artforms and their living practitioners in the same breath as modern and contemporary art and artists. We are thrilled to see the Australian High Commission bring works by Australian indigenous artist Sarrita King to India and to the upcoming edition of India Art Fair, taking place in New Delhi from 1st to 4th February 2024, bringing in a global perspective to conversations around indigenous art and giving pride of place to these invaluable traditions in the cultural landscape."This event highlighted the importance Australia places on its First Nations cultures as a vital part of its modern national identity.

In the event, three groups of works were featured including a video installation of the 'Walking Through Songlines' immersive experience which will tour India; painted works by Sarrita King, who will be showcased at the India Art Fair; and painted works that will be included in an exhibition titled 'Modern Tribal - Connecting Traditions' by The Gondwana Art Project which will show Australian works alongside those from Indian artists.

As Foreign Minister, Senator Wong appointed Australia's inaugural Ambassador for First Nations People. This is part of the Australian Government's efforts to embed Indigenous perspectives, experiences and interests across the work of the Australian Foreign Service and develop a First Nations Foreign Policy Strategy.

Earlier on Monday, India-Australia 22 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue was co-chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong.

S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh warmly received Richard Marles and Penny Wong for the 22 Ministerial Dialogue. The ministers shook hands and posed for the cameras. (ANI)

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