Deutscher and Hackett are delighted to offer significant works of Indigenous art from the collection of Christine Collingwood.

Christine’s fascination with Aboriginal Art began early when, on a school trip to Central Australia in 1962, she purchased a landscape watercolour by Edwin Pareroultja at the Hermannsburg Mission. It was the beginning of her attraction to the desert and Indigenous people and when the great art movements began a decade or so later,Christine’s interest in mark makers and abstract art was piqued when she observed that the Indigenous artists’ work was often loaded with disguised symbols and veiled stories.

 In 1983, Christine attended an exhibition of contemporary Australian art, translated as Dream and Reality, at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. It included works from a roll-call of non-indigenous artists favoured by Australian curators at the time, as well as an exciting ‘ground painting’ executed by Warlpiri artists on Tjundu, the subject of a sacred site. The artists had been present at the opening and had performed a ceremony with full regalia, including body paint and organic attachments. This international exhibition cemented in Christine’s mind the knowledge that the most exciting contemporary art in Australia was the emergent Indigenous art, continuing from its centuries’ old roots.

Christine joined the Voluntary Guides at the NGV in the mid 1980’s and witnessed the deliberate expansion of the previously neglected collection of Indigenous Art under the stewardship of newly appointed curator, Judith Ryan. Christine cites Judith’s vision and scholarship, together with the many seductive exhibitions she curated exploring works from different artists’ communities, as a powerful impetus for her to become an inaugural member of the Supporters of Indigenous Art at the NGV. A highlight for Christine was the opening of NGVA in 2002, and the marvellous, specially designed spaces on the ground floor dedicated to Indigenous Art. Christine and her husband John were excited to again return to Paris in 2012 for the opening of Tjukurrtjanu the Origins of Western Desert Art, at the Musée Quai Branly, curated by Judith Ryan and Philip Batty.

Christine in her own words has been ‘an enthusiastic and eclectic collector’. A number of journeys to the centre and the top end, as well as regular visits to the major commercial galleries such as Alcaston Gallery, Vivien Anderson Gallery and Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi have informed her appreciation of quality. ‘I have been privileged to acquire works of women artists of audacious authority, such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Sally Gabori, Barupu Yunupingu, Lorraine Connelly- Northey and Iyawi Wikilyiri. Their inherent power will stay with me forever’.

Deutscher and Hackett would like to thank Christine Collingwood for sharing her story as a collector and supporter of Indigenous Art.