NON MEMBER - Elcho Island Arts
Contemporary Art From Ancestral Traditions
Hours: Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4:30pm, & Sunday 9am-2pm
Nestled off the coast of North East Arnhem Land, 550km east of Darwin, lies Elcho Island - a place of mesmerising natural beauty and home of the Yolngu people. Yolngu culture is based on a strong sense of connection to land and sea, and artists from Elcho Island Arts celebrate this rich cultural history through combining contemporary artistic practise with ancestral traditions. Established in the late 1980s and community operated since 1992, Elcho Island Arts is based in the main township of Galiwin’ku; with a population of around 2,500 it is the second largest Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory. The art centre also services twelve surrounding homeland regions, making it an active and integral part of the community. Elcho Island Arts has earned a strong reputation for the quality of weavings, paintings and carvings created by its artists, demonstrating originality of design and intimate knowledge of ancestral histories and traditional materials. From barks and larrakitj (hollow logs) painted with designs in natural ochres, baskets, mats and soft sculpture woven from naturally dyed Pandanas to lively acrylic paintings on canvas, each art work is a unique representation of contemporary Yolngu culture. Artists from Elcho Island Arts include custodian of the Banumbirr (Morning Star Pole), Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi, painter Peter Datjing, weavers Mavis Ganambarr and Judy Manany and carvers David Djarrka, Wendy Galanini and Megan Yunupingu. Elcho Island artists exhibit nationally and internationally, and have work represented in major public collections throughout Australia. Elcho Island Arts has recently opened a gallery in Darwin offering a range of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art including paintings, carvings, weavings, yidaki (didgeridoo) and limited edition prints, sure to entice all art lovers from novice buyers to discerning collectors.