Michael Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers collaborate on ‘Metafisica Australe’


Warlpiri/Luritja artist Michael Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers have collaborated on 24 artworks together since 2001, and the latest of these, the striking 72-panel painting Metafisica Australe 2017 is the subject of our 2018 Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Foundation Appeal.

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.

Metafisica Australe

Michael Nelson Jagamara (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

Michael Nelson Jagamara, 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

Read more about past appeals and the Foundation / Watch exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage on Australian Art / Donate to the appeal

The 2018 Foundation Appeal will help QAGOMA to represent one of the most thought-provoking collaborative partnerships in Australia’s contemporary art landscape, and this compelling work will find a perfect home within the Queensland Art Gallery’s reimagined Australian collection display, where Indigenous and contemporary Australian collections, together with the Gallery’s historical holdings, tell a fuller story of Australian art.

Feature image detail: Michael Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers Metafisica Australe 2017