Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia


Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia


Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia


With over 150 works from 1890 to today, Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is the largest overview of art by First Peoples of Australia to be presented in Aotearoa. 

Drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art, Ever Present highlights the diverse peoples and artistic practices across Australia. It is a celebration of First Peoples of Australia art exploring the interlinking themes of Ancestors, Community, Culture, Colonisation, and Identity. Knowledge systems are passed down through oral histories, dancing, stories and songlines or songspirals that traverse diverse lands, coming together to evoke Ancestral creation stories known by some Communities as the Dreaming or Tjukurrpa. Art is also used as a tool of resistance. Artists utilise wit and juxtaposition to encourage conversation about critical issues of the past and present. The artworks included in Ever Present address Australia’s complex histories and challenge stereotypes about First Peoples of Australia. 

The exhibition includes some of the most influential First Peoples of Australia artists including Brook Andrew, Richard Bell, Bindi Cole, Karla Dickens, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, Vernon Ah Kee, Kunmanara Ray Ken, Emily Kam Kngwarray, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Alex Mingelmanganu, Archie Moore,  Albert Namatjira, Dorothy Napangardi, Christopher Pease, r e a, Yhonnie Scarce, Damien Shen, Christian Thompson and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia holds sacred objects and cultural values – we ask for mindfulness while in the exhibition. First Peoples of Australia are respectfully advised that this exhibition contain names and artworks by deceased people. Where possible permission has been sought to include their names and artworks. 

The artists and collaborators in Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia wish to acknowledge tangata whenua (people of the land) Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and all iwi and people who live in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is presented by the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Arts in partnership with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and supported by the Australian Government. The exhibition is proudly supported by AUT and Auckland Art Gallery Foundation.



Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is on show at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from Saturday 29 July – Sunday 29 October 2023. The exhibition is open during normal Gallery hours, 10am–5pm daily.

Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia is located on Level 1. 

We recommend allowing 60 minutes to view Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia. The Gallery closes at 5pm daily.

Yes, the exhibition is accompanied by a special visitor programme. You can also subscribe to our fortnightly e-newsletter to receive the latest information on upcoming events straight to your email inbox.


Yes, we encourage and welcome families with children to visit Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia. Make sure to pick up your Ever Present Kids & Whānau guide from the information desk which will help you explore the exhibition together. Please note, there is one artwork that contains swearing and depictions of violence – this will be signposted to you inside the exhibition so that you can choose to view this work with your whānau or not. Please ask one of our friendly Gallery Assistants/Kaiārahi if you would like assistance during your visit.

Please note, we don't allow food or drink in the Gallery and ask that you don't touch the artworks.

After viewing Ever Present, feel free to extend your visit with a trip to ArtLab inside the Todd Foundation Creative Learning Centre!

Yes, we do tours of Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia. For more information on booking and pricing, please check our tours page.

Yes. Bookings for groups (including adult education groups) of 10 or more people should be made by completing an enquiry form. Please book at least two weeks in advance of your visit to secure entry to this exhibition.

Booked groups will be prioritised.

Yes, photography without flash for personal use is permitted. Where there are exclusions, 'no photography' signage will be on display. View the Gallery's full photography policy here.

We recommend Auckland Transport's Victoria Street carpark which is located a few hundred metres up the road from the Gallery.