PASPALIS SOCIAL IMPACT

The Arts

Supporting Indigenous Culture Awareness through the Arts

Promoting Indigenous Culture through the Arts via emerging artists and community initiatives.

Art Collection

Supporting Indigenous artists by purchasing art from every Aboriginal community in the NT and exhibiting them at the Darwin Innovation Hub. The collection began in the 1960s with ochre paintings gifted to Michael Paspalis MBE. Today, it features works from prominent and emerging artists, including historical Port Keats paintings, Judy Watson, Harold Thomas, Maath Maralngurra, and Kieran Karritpul, highlighting a rich diversity of indigenous art.

Injalak Commission

In 2015, Paspalis commissioned the Injalak Community Art Centre in West Arnhem Land to create four large screen prints for the design of its main gallery and break out space at the Darwin Innovation Hub. This space, awarded the 2016 Australian Institute of Architects – George Chaloupka award for Commercial Architecture, blends contemporary art with the built environment, celebrating ancient culture while providing a modern space for collaboration.

Tribal Abduction Project

In 2016, Paspalis purchased Tribal Abduction, the winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), by Harold Thomas, a prominent Aboriginal artist and member of the Stolen Generations. This powerful painting addresses the legacy of generational trauma experienced by the Stolen Generations and has garnered national and international acclaim, being featured in publications like The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, and London Times. This acquisition is a significant civic project for Paspalis, supporting Thomas' dream of Tribal Abduction being a painting that communicates and heals on a global scale.

Harold Thomas – Artist

“With traditional (Aboriginal) art, the art of my ancestors, you couldn’t express it — it’s not there. That’s what I believe. It’s probably a picture that people wanted to have out in the community. We needed a painting like that (and) I hadn’t seen it.”