Large-scale sculpture wins the 2023 NATSIAA

Highlighting family totems in a ‘transportive’ work, Keith Wikmunea’s major sculpture takes home the $100,000 2023 Telstra NATSIAA.

Keith Wikmunea, a Thu’ Apalech man and artist from Aurukun in Queensland has been announced as winner of the 2023 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) made the announcement at the 2023 Telstra NATSIAA Award Ceremony tonight (11 August).

Wikmunea’s sculpture piece Ku’, Theewith & Kalampang: The White Cockatoo, Galah and the wandering Dog (2023) is representative of his family and cultural identity, said the artist. ‘The colours on this tree are specific to my clan, the Thu’ Apalech people.’

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram: @lleizy_