Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation is located in Haasts Bluff located in the Northern Territory. Haasts Bluff is a diverse community rich with language and culture. Ikuntji Artists was first established back in 1992 under the influence of the then community president, Esther Jugadai after workshops with Melbourne Artist Marina Strocchi.
The art centre was set up as a women’s centre fulfilling roles like catering for the elderly and young children. However, after gaining the attention of the Australian and International art world from pieces of Acrylic paintings on linen and handmade paper, the art centre quickly evolved into from a women’s centre into an art centre 2005.
Each artist draws their inspiration from their Ngurra (Country) and Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime) which is then interpreted through traditional symbols, icons and motifs. Diverse in artistic mediums; each artist has their own signature style and the artworks produced range from native designs to really abstract paintings.
27 years into Ikuntji Artists inception, they have truly flourished and made their mark on the art world and even so they have remained the cultural hub of the community; maintaining, reinforcing and reinvigorating art making through cultural practices.
Babbarra Women’s Centre is located in the community of Maningrida, in the heart of the Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The centre acts as a community hub from five different outstations.
The women from Babbarra are from more than 12 language groups in the Maningrida region. The centre has become a place where the women can come together to share their knowledge and share ideas. This led to the inception of their main social enterprise; Babbarra Designs. This was started in 1989 and has been flourishing ever since.
Babbarra Designs design and hand print textiles that are sold globally. Each design is unique and tells the ancestral stories of their Arnhem Land country, culture, spirits, foods and Dreaming; the stories of their lives. Through this enterprise Babbarra has been able to achieve financial independence for their community and for the next generations to come.
Merrepen Arts is a very well established art centre located along the Daly River in the Nauiyu Community in the Northern Territory. Opened in 1986 there is around 120 artists working in a variety of traditional and contemporary mediums painting and creating regularly in a specially designed art centre.
Many of Merrepen’s artists are now renowned nationally and internationally, having quickly become famous for their paintings, etchings and textiles. Their art is heavily influenced by the local landscape, colour, light and their close proximity to the Daly River. Their paintings, prints and fabrics produced by the artists are stylistically very unique and is not what is usually expected of Aboriginal art.