Gapuwiyak Art Centre, Central Arnhem Land (Arnhemland)
When visiting Arnhem Land, if you are after the most real and unrehearsed interaction with the local and traditional artists of the land, a stop to the Gapiwiyak Arts Centre is an ABSOLUTE must!
Although it is a smaller artist community, what it lacks in commercial space, it absolutely makes up for in heart!
For our visit, each talented artist was extremely kind with their time to our kids and very keen to share their knowledge and explanation of what each art piece and symbols were in relation to their name, ancient culture and traditions.
To be honest, my hypocritical previous view, couldn’t fathom the higher price tags of some of these art pieces, BUT after seeing the time and effort that goes into making each painting, funeral pole or Yidaki, I now completely understand and see the justification in the price!
We are now the proud owners of our very own Yidaki (the origins of what is now known in other areas as the didgeridoo). We met the artist, Larranda Derek Wanapyungu, heard his stories and we all fell in love with one of his pieces. Yes, it was over $400, but I can assure you one day, this piece will take pride in the centre of a house and will represent all the amazing memories we have collected together as a family in East Arnhem Land.
TO VISIT THE CENTRE YOURSELF, you do need to seek permissions and permits prior to entry. However, this could be as simple as contacting Trevor the very lovely manager, who may also be able to assist you, with being put in touch with Yolgnu locals for a very real culture experience to this absolutely unique part of the planet.
This was just one amazing part of our visit to Gapiwiyak in Central Arnhem Land. We made great new friends here, and Rob (Mr 8) has even been invited back to learn how to make a spear and go hunting the traditional way over the next few seasons!!
HOVER OR CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW, for a description of our experience.