Aboriginal-owned and governed art centres play a crucial role within the landscape of Australian Aboriginal fine art: they set the standard by which all other remotely created work is judged and valued.
The level of independence and self-determination afforded to artist members by these community co-operatives is unmatched by other studio models, which in turn is reflected in the quality of the art. Aboriginal ownership ensures the highest levels of cultural and artistic integrity, autonomy, and provenance, as well as the greatest financial return for individuals and their communities. For the past decade, Australian public institutions and major private collectors have acquired extensive collections from these centres.
Each art centre has its own unique artistic voice which is informed by the distinct local culture of Country and the stories that belong there. “Country” simultaneously refers to the geographic area to which a person belongs, and the associated Law, spiritual and cultural beliefs associated with that area across all time; they are intertwined and indivisible.
The art centres are governed by boards comprised of Aboriginal elders whose responsibility is to oversee the business and cultural direction of the centre. The boards also employ staff to manage daily operations. Art centres receive government funding and are therefore independently audited. While art centres around the nation vary in size and longevity, the best are defined by the consistent quality of their work and the energy they devote to developing the careers of their established artists and nurturing the talents of emerging artists.
Leading art centres we have represented over the years include:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Tjala Arts, Tjungu Palya, Ninuku Arts, Ernabella Arts, Kaltjiti Arts, Iwantja Arts, Mimili Maku, Ninuku Arts
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Tjarlirli Arts, Papulankutja Artists, Spinfiex Art Projects, Warakurna Artists, Kayili Artists
NORTHERN TERRITORY Buku-Larrnggay Mulka, Papunya Tjupi, Munupi Art, Durrmu Art, Bula-Bula Arts, Artists of Ampilawatja