Art Centres are an integral part of each community

The art centres visited on an Aboriginal Art Connections experience are all aboriginal owned and operated, ensuring that all proceeds from the sale of art works provide a direct benefit to the artists and the communities.

These centres are an integral part of each community, providing the means for local artists to have their work distributed to galleries and collectors world wide. Many are also an artistic hub in the community, with artists sharing ochres, tools and resources, or just coming together socially.

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Elcho Island Arts

Elcho Island, located in the Arafura Sea off the coast of north-east Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory, is a place unlike any other on earth.

Blessed with rugged yet beautiful tropical landscape - stunning beaches, aqua seas, cycad forests, unique wildlife and rare rock formation it is home to the Yolngu people and their rich and beguiling culture.

Approximately 550 km north-east of Darwin, Elcho Island is know worldwide for its many cultural exports. Famous artists who call Elcho Island home include ARIA award-winning musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, the cheeky Chooky Dancers, and hundred of visual artists who create traditional and authentic Aboriginal art that is exhibited and held in major collection nationally and internationally.

About Us

Elcho Island Arts operates out of the Marthakal Arts Hub in Galiwinku (the main community on the island). The Arts Hub, which is situated on a cliff offering stunning panoramic views of local beaches and surrounding islands, has two galleries, a retail outlet, an artist's workshop and print studio and offices (and soon two outdoor decks and a small cafИ).

Community operated since 1992, the primary function of Elcho Island Arts is to support Yolngu artists to share their culture and derive an income from their creative endeavours. This is achieved through the collection, promotion and distribution of authentic Aboriginal art and craft to a range of markets across Australia and overseas.

Art Styles

Over its history Elcho Island Arts has earned a strong reputation for the quality of work produced by its artists who maintain strong links to clan totems, pride themselves on originality of design and utilise traditional bush materials and natural earth pigments and fibres.

Art styles produced by Elcho Island Arts artists includes:

  • Bark paintings;
  • Paintings on canvas (ochres and acrylic);
  • Hand carved and painted hollow logs;
  • Morning Star Poles or Banumbirr (ceremonial poles adorned with feathers unique to Elcho);
  • 3D and sculptural works;
  • Artefacts such as spears and clan poles;
  • Yidaki (local didgeridoos);
  • Fibre art such as baskets, bags, mats and jewellery; and,
  • Limited edition prints and other works on paper.


Over the past 18 years Elcho Island Arts has worked with more that 350 Yolngu artists to create, exhibit and sell authentic Aboriginal art locally, nationally and internationally.

Today, more than 125 artists from Galiwin'ku and surrounding Marthakal Homelands are actively engaged in the production of high quality traditional and contemporary artwork which they sell directly to Elcho Island Arts for exhibition and distribution.

Elcho Island Arts artists are a very diverse group made up of men and women, young and old, from the more than 12 clan groups on and around the Island.


If you are thinking of visiting Elcho Island, Elcho Island Arts can assist in arranging a tailor-made cultural tour of one of the local homelands.

On these tours you can:

  • learn about traditional Yolngu culture and language;
  • explore unique lanndscape;
  • hear traditional creation stories;
  • gain insight into life on an Arnhem Land homeland;
  • gather and sample seasonal bush foods and medicines; and,
  • collect natural materials used in the creation of authentic Aboriginal artwork.

For prices, services, tour options and availability, please contact Aboriginal Art Connections.


Featured Art Tour

This year we have designed a comprehensive tour of Arnhem Land, focusing not only on the art centres, but we have also included immersive environmental events. A spectacular time of year, after the wet season has abated, the drier air ensures comfort whilst the land is still lush and green.

The customised trip will give you the opportunity to walk around the community environs and engage with the local residents. In particular you will meet the artists, often the artist’s family and certainly the arts workers. On occasion we havebeen offered spontaneous invitations to visit the artist’s homes and camps, the chance to visit the local school, learn more about medicinal botany, Yolngu law, interpret rock art or do some night fishing. Overall the style and pace of the trip is to give those interested in Top End Indigenous Australian art and culture an opportunity to fulfil their curiosity in a real time way.

Make no mistake; this trip cannot be achieved without the expertise of the Aboriginal Art Connections team with many years of collective experience and enthusiasm for Northern Australia. Wewill provide a comfortable trip and an extraordinary experience.

The service you can expect from the team at Aboriginal Art Connections is exemplary. Please be aware that accessing these remote communities in Arnhem land is restricted, so we make all the applications on your behalf to clear entry, prepare your lodgings, ensure meals are hearty and fulfilling, down to the fragrant fresh coffee for morning and afternoon tea always in a scenic let’s just stop and take it in location.

As your accompanying indigenous art specialist I am on board to facilitate your growing knowledge of the art forms of the region, such the stylistic shifts from eastern to western Arnhem land, to introducing specific artists work to you, and being that calm third party when required to help you make decisions with confidence when on the ground.

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22.5.16  7 Day Tiwi Island and Arnhem Land Tour hosted by Vivien Anderson.  Read more

1.9.16  Cape York Art Centre Tour - This tour is still in development. We will take you to the best art centres Cape York has to offer. This tour will be led by Vivien Anderson.  Read more