Juanella McKenzie, from Port Augusta, South Australia, has been announced as the Telstra People’s Choice Award winner, in this year’s Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.
The awards are presented by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in partnership with Telstra.
The Telstra NATSIAA is the longest-running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art award in the country.
This year, 63 finalists from across Australia were selected from a total of 221 entries. Hold Me, 2022 created by artist Juanella McKenzie symbolises five generations of women connected through the artist’s female line, passed from mother to daughter.
The woven carry dish represents McKenzie’s great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and daughters.
Juanella McKenzie said: “It’s amazing that this has touched people’s lives. It is about bringing honour to the women who come before us, and after us. I am very grateful.”
Each is woven with a cloth or hair belonging to or fibre representing, through time, our DNA intertwined and becoming one.’
Adam Worrall, MAGNT Director, said: ‘Congratulations to Juanella and we are thrilled people got behind this incredible South Australian artist, who sends a beautiful message about matriarchy, tradition and knowledge sharing in her artwork.
“It was a privilege to meet Juanella and listen to her artist talk when she visited MAGNT for the Telstra NATSIAA opening.’
Telstra NATSIAA artists share in a total of $190,000 (previously $80,000), with the prize money for the major Telstra Art Award doubling to $100,000 in 2022 and each of the category awards tripling from $5,000 to $15,000.