For nearly a decade Graham and Glenda McKay set about putting together a unique collection of Contemporary Australian Indigenous art.  With a deliberate focus upon supporting younger artists through the acquisition of work from the newer communities, the collection represents some of the finest examples by living Indigenous artists.  While the collection contains significant works by established artists, the majority is by younger emerging artists. Fundamental to the McKay’s collecting strategy was the selection of work of art with which they felt a strong connection – with colour, texture and composition, as well as an affinity for the story, cultural setting and country, all influencing acquisition decisions.  An effort was made to secure the very best of a chosen artist’s body of work, with Graham and Glenda travelling further afield to make a desired purchase. Provenance and exhibition history were also important criteria and accordingly, the collection holds works with detailed and extensive exhibition histories. Acquisitions were made at annual award exhibitions such as the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award and particular attention was given to purchasing pieces that had been selected for exhibition at public institutions or included in national touring shows.

Establishing relationships with the managers and staff of art centres such as Buku-Larrngay; Bula’Bula Arts; Maningrida Arts and Culture; Munupi Arts; and Many Hands Art Centre, Graham and Glenda were consequently able to acquire paintings prior to exhibition and be afforded priority in selecting works and, occasionally, paintings were purchased on commission directly through an art centre.

Consistent with the up-scaling of much contemporary indigenous art, the McKay’s embraced a number of monumental works by some of the current stars of indigenous art, including Daniel Walbidi, Ray Ken, Barbara Moore, Tiger Palpatja, Naomi Hobson and Sylvia Kantjupai Ken, with the collection anchored by a collaborative painting executed by women artists from the Tjala Arts community. Major barks by younger Arnhem Land artists present another direction, with examples by Barayauwa Mununggur, Nonggirrnga Marawili, Malaluba Gumana and Gulumbu Yunupingu from Yirrkala; Bobby Bununggurr, Billy Black Roy Burnyila and Philip Gudthaykudthay from Central Arnhem Land, while from Maningrida, the collection holds sculpture by Owen Yalandja and bark paintings by John Mawurndjul.

The sale of the McKay Superannuation Fund Art Collection reinforces Deutscher and Hackett’s commitment to offering outstanding works of impeccable provenance at auction. With competitive estimates and prices ranging across several levels, the auction offers exceptional opportunities to acquire high quality art by Australia’s leading Indigenous artists.

Further works from the McKay Superannuation Fund Art Collection will be offered at the Deutscher and Hackett Private Sale Gallery in June 2016.