Kumantje Jagamara and Imants Tillers collaborate on ‘Metafisica Australe’


Warlpiri/Luritja artist Kumantje (Michael Nelson) Jagamara AM and Imants Tillers have collaborated on 24 artworks together since 2001, and the latest of these, the striking 72-panel painting Metafisica Australe 2017 (illustrated).

The expansive and compelling work holds special meaning, as it reflects on how the artists embarked on a working relationship that developed following Tillers’s use of elements from Jagamara’s milestone painting, Five Stories 1984. Metafisica Australe 2017 is the next chapter in the long-term collaboration between these much-loved Australian artists, and QAGOMA relishes this opportunity to celebrate an important artistic partnership that began nearly two decades ago. Their continuing conversation has a deep resonance with the Gallery’s Australian collection display, highlighting a unique exchange between an Indigenous and a non-Indigenous artist.

Watch: the making of ‘Metafisica Australe’

Kumantje (Michael Nelson) Jagamara AM (seated), Michael Eather and Imants Tillers (right) in Papunya, in a still from ‘Thrown Into This World’ 2017 by Antra Cilinska / © Juris Podnieks Studio, Latvia

Kumantje Jagamara and Imants Tillers ‘Metafisica Australe’

Kumantje (Michael Nelson) Jagamara AM, Warlpiri/Luritja people, Australia, b.c.1946 and Imants Tillers, Australia, b.1950 / Metafisica Australe 2017 / Synthetic polymer paint and gouache on 72 canvas boards (nos 98450–98521) / 229 x 285cm / Image courtesy: The artists, and Michael Eather, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane / © The artists

Acknowledgment of Country
The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present and, in the spirit of reconciliation, acknowledge the immense creative contribution First Australians make to the art and culture of this country.

It is customary in many Indigenous communities not to mention the name or reproduce photographs of the deceased. All such mentions and photographs on the QAGOMA Blog are with permission, however, care and discretion should be exercised.

Featured image detail: Kumantje (Michael Nelson) Jagamara AM and Imants Tillers Metafisica Australe 2017