Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia surveys works by over 160 artists from 1890 to today. Drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art, the artworks bridge time and place and are interconnected through story and experience. It is the largest overview of art by First Nations Australian artists to be presented in Aotearoa. 

Knowledge systems are passed down through oral histories, dancing, stories and songlines or songspirals that traverse diverse lands, coming together to evoke Ancestral creation stories known by some Communities as the Dreaming or Tjukurrpa. Art is also used as a tool of resistance. Artists utilise wit and juxtaposition to encourage conversation about critical issues of the past and present. The artworks included in Ever Present address Australia’s complex histories and challenge stereotypes about First Nations people.

The exhibition includes some of the most influential First Nations Australian artists including Brook Andrew, Richard Bell, Bindi Cole, Karla Dickens, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, Vernon Ah Kee, Kunmanara Ray Ken, Emily Kam Kngwarray, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Alex Mingelmanganu, Archie Moore, Albert Namatjira, Dorothy Napangardi, Christopher Pease, r e a, Yhonnie Scarce, Damien Shen, Christian Thompson and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.

Image credit: David St George
Auckland Art Gallery


Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is presented by the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Arts in partnership with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and supported by the Australian
Government. The exhibition is proudly supported by AUT and Auckland Art Gallery Foundation.

$2 per hour to a max of $12 on weekends and a $12 flat rate for weekday evenings at The Civic car park. Find out more

Last updated: 20 June 2023