Three Aboriginal women who hail from the Kimberley have been selected as finalists in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. The Indigenous artists, Peggy Griffiths, Louise Malarvie from Waringarri Arts in Kununurra and Angelina Karadada Boona from Kira Kiro Artists in Kalumburu, were three of the 12 finalists selected from WA. NATSIAA is Australia’s longest running and most prestigious Indigenous art award, having grown significantly since its genesis in 1984 and is presented by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in partnership with Telstra. Each year the awards ceremony and exhibition celebrates the emerging and distinguished artistic talent from around Australia. Ms Griffiths says she uses her art to carry on her grandfather’s and mother’s stories. “The old people used to paint their Country on caves, now I’m doing it on canvas and in clay,” she said. “Country is everything. It has all the food, medicine, spirit and happiness. “It is important to show my younger generation what I have learned, about our stories and our culture.” Winners share in a total of $190,000 in prize money with the winner of the major Telstra Art Award receiving $100,000 and each of the category award winners receiving $15,000. Ms Marlavie said she was excited to have been selected as a finalist. “I’m looking forward to more people seeing my artwork and understanding who I am,” she said. “I paint to re-connect to Country. My Country is south near Lake Gregory and I can’t always go there and I miss my Country. “Painting it makes me feel good, it heals me and is good for my mind.” The NATSIAA 2022 selection panel said in a joint statement they were encouraged by the vast number of works submitted to the competition despite the harsh conditions Aboriginal artists and their communities have had to face over the past year. “We commend all of the artists who have managed to create work during the continuing pandemic, the recent flooding and severe weather events, and the countless challenges faced as individuals, families and communities.” The annual exhibition of works by finalists will be on display at MAGNT from August 6 and the winners will be announced on August 5.