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.

Read More

Maningrida Arts and Culture:

Maningrida Arts and Culture is based in Maningrida community, 500km east of Darwin and services more than 700 artists from Maningrida and its surrounding 34 outstations, covering an area of more than 10,000 square kilometres. The town of Maningrida lies on the estuary of the Liverpool River, on the coast of Arnhem Land. The Kunibídji people are the traditional landowners of this country. The name Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibídji name Manayingkarírra, which comes from the phrase Mane djang karirra, meaning 'the place where the dreaming changed shape'.

Maningrida Arts and Culture has developed an enviable reputation in the fine arts market for high quality product with comprehensive cultural and biographical documentation. Bark painting, wooden and fibre sculpture, natural fibre items, prints, and more recently works in bronze and aluminium are created by the artists here.

The art of Maningrida is heterogeneous, dynamic and innovative, reflecting the diversity of languages and cultures present in the region. Many artists from Maningrida have won prestigious national prizes over the years such as the bark painting prize at NATSIAA in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006 and the Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award at NATSIAA in 1996, 1997 and 2004. In 2003, John Mawurndjul was the first Indigenous artist to be awarded the prestigious Clemenger Contemporary Art Prize held at the National Gallery of Victoria. Other recent achievements include the participation of John Mawurndjul in the major public art commission for the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France. Both traditional and non-traditional work from Maningrida has a reputation for quality, innovation, vibrancy and diversity. This is attributed to the cultural diversity of the Aboriginal people of the eight different language groups living in the Maningrida township and in the 34 outstations.

Bark Painting

All bark paintings are painted copy courtesy of Maningrida Arts and Culture, natural ochres with PVC fixative on stringybark. Prices for bark paintings are assessed on the quality and size of the bark and the reputation of the artist.

While wooden objects, both sacred and utilitarian, have always played an integral part in life in Arnhem Land, the carving of spirit sculptures is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the early 1960s Crusoe Kuningbal (now deceased) started to carve ethereal mimih spirit figures which subsequently inspired a whole genre of spirit figure carving. Such figures are now highly sought after.

Fibre Sculpture

Unusual fibre items such as sculptures and animals are also made occasionally. They are made with pandanus, paperpark and sticks and decorated with ochres. Lena Yarinkura is well known for her fibre sculptures including Yawkyawks and camp dogs. Other well-known artists with working in this genre include Lena Djamarrayku and Carol Liyawanga Campion.

The Djomi Museum

The Djómi Museum functions as an integrated element in the community's cultural and regional development. It promotes the richness of the region's artistic expression, it is the custodian of a wealth of historical and cultural material and an active source and repository of valuable reference and research data. Djómi is an official regional museum of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

A visit to the museum is included during your time at Maningrida.

Images and copy courtesy of Maningrida Arts and Culture


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.

 Read more


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