Rio Tinto celebrates Kimberley artwork in Europe

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The bold and vivid artwork of the Traditional Owners of the Argyle Diamond Mine is being celebrated in Europe with the single largest exhibition of Aboriginal art solely from the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Supported by Rio Tinto, the exhibition titled Country to Coast: Colours of the Kimberley comprises 44 pieces of artwork and is on display at the AAMU Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art in the Netherlands. The AAMU is the only private museum in Europe exclusively dedicated to contemporary indigenous art.

At an event at the AAMU that brought together key sponsors of the exhibition, including banks, private sponsors and Dutch and Australian companies, curator of the museum, Georges Petitjean said, “ these artists are recognised as amongst the most powerful contemporary Australian artists of their generation and the exhibition aims to strengthen their reputation in Europe.”

Valued at more than US$1 million, the artwork is a visual journey through the Kimberley region, one of Australia’s last frontiers and home to a rich art tradition. In powerful canvases showcasing the ochre the renowned artists depict the striking sites and features of their country. Many historical events are also incorporated into the paintings.

Rio Tinto’s Chief executive of Diamonds & Minerals, Alan Davies said, “Rio Tinto is delighted to support the Country to Coast exhibition and we congratulate the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art on bringing together these important artworks. The Traditional Owners of the Argyle Diamond Mine are extraordinary Australian cultural leaders and it is through their sacred narratives that we can develop a deep understanding of their culture and their country.”

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