Just in time for the opening of our latest special exhibition, Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, the accompanying catalogue is now available in the museums shop. Edited by Stephen Gilchrist, the Australian Studies Visiting Curator, the book is a comprehensive and illuminating complement to the exhibition.
In his introductory essay, Gilchrist provides an in-depth discussion of the notion of the “everywhen”—an Indigenous conception of time in which the past and present are both part of a cyclical and circular order—and explores the central themes of transformation, performance, seasonality, and remembrance. The book’s design, created by our in-house design department in consultation with Gilchrist and other senior colleagues, subtly references these themes.
Other essays include contributions from Fred Myers, professor of anthropology at New York University, who examines Papunya works; Hetti Perkins, one of Australia’s most respected curators of Aboriginal art, who provides an overview of the artists whose works are presented in the exhibition; and Narayan Khandekar, Georgina Rayner, and Daniel P. Kirby, from the museums’ own Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, who describe their groundbreaking research into binders and pigments in traditional bark paintings (read more about this project in Index).
Vivid images of all the works in the show—some of which have never been exhibited outside Australia—are a highlight of the volume. Among the featured contemporary artists are Rover Thomas, Emily Kam Kngwarray, Judy Watson, Doreen Reid Nakamarra, Vernon Ah Kee, and Christian Thompson. By presenting new critical perspectives on these and other artists’ work, the Everywhen catalogue offers an important avenue for understanding and appreciating Indigenous Australian art within the global narrative of contemporary art.