More than 300 artists representing 24 art centres and galleries in northern Queensland showcased their new work at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair this month. The fair is held annually over three days in August and is an unparalleled celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, dance and music.
Visitors from all over the world come to the Janbal Aboriginal Art Gallery in Mossman to paint, share dream time stories and learn about Kuku Yalanji culture. The gallery offers private Aboriginal art classes and painting workshops. You can also browse and purchase paintings, didgeridoos and artefacts and learn more about the stories behind the works.
Famous for its rock art, Quinkan Country contains a large and dramatic body of prehistoric rock paintings which are at least 15,000 to 30,000 years old and have been included on the Australian Heritage Estate and listed by UNESCO as being among the top 10 rock art sites in the world. Guided tours to a selected number of sites can be made through the Quinkan & Regional Cultural Centre.
Canopy Artspace in Cairns combines galleries, artist’s studios and a printmaking workshop dedicated to showcasing Queensland’s Indigenous artists and providing the facilities to nurture the region’s artists of the future.
The Red Centre connects the art lover to both world-class art galleries and Aboriginal communities.
Alice Springs is the home of the desert art movement and the base for visiting art centres in the Simpson Desert, Macdonnell Ranges and the lands of the Pitjantjatjara people. There are also many iconic art galleries located in the town including the Mbantua Fine Art Gallery and Cultural Museum which represents over 200 Aboriginal artists from the Utopia region of Central Australia, and Tjanpi Desert weavers who specialise in fibre art and baskets woven by women from 28 remote Aboriginal communities.
A range of Aboriginal art centres surround Alice Springs, each one offering different styles of dot painting depending on their interaction with their natural environment. Hermannsburg Historic Precinct is one of the better known art communities in the Alice Springs region, thanks to the famous Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.
In the western desert, the artists at Maruku Arts work on wood carvings, Walkatjara Art Uluru create ceramics and Ikuntji Arts paint on large canvases. At Tapatjataka Art and Crafts there are colourful paintings, intriguing wire creations, ceramics, jewellery, prints and wooden artefacts handcrafted by local Arrente, Luritja, Pitjanjatjara and Yunkunyatjara artists.
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