List of Australian Indigenous art movements and cooperatives

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Australian Indigenous art movements and cooperatives have been central to the emergence of Indigenous Australian art. Whereas many western artists pursue formal training and work as individuals, most contemporary Indigenous art is created in community groups and art centres.[1]

The following external sites are links to some of the Aboriginal-owned and -operated art cooperatives. These cooperatives reflect the diversity of art across Indigenous Australia from the north west region where oscachre is significantly used; to the tropical north where the use of cross-hatching prevails; to the Papunya style of art from the central desert cooperatives. Art is increasingly becoming a significant source of income and livelihood for some of these communities.

Peak groups[edit]

These are organisations that represent, or include, a number of Indigenous art cooperatives.

Indigenous art movements and cooperatives[edit]

There is a wide range of art centres. They are all Indigenous-owned and/or controlled and are all not-for-profit organisations or, in a few cases, companies owned by the artists (Papunya Tula; Jirrawun Arts). The oldest is Ernabella Arts, formed in 1948. The largest by sales in 2006 were Papunya Tula and Warlayirti.[2]

Name of centre Location or nearest town Year established Major artists associated with centre External link
Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre Alice Springs, Northern Territory 1973 web page
Bima Wear Nguiu, Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory 1969 web page
Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative Sydney, NSW 1987 Bronwyn Bancroft, Michael Riley, Harry Wedge web page
Bula'Bula Arts Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory 1990 web page
Elcho Island Art and Craft Elcho Island, Northern Territory 1992 web page
Ernabella Arts Uluru, Northern Territory 1948 web page
Hermannsburg Potters Hermannsburg, Northern Territory not known web page
Ikuntji Haast's Bluff, NT 1992 Daisy Jugadai Napaltjarri, Molly Jugadai Napaltjarri web page
Injalak Arts Gunbalanya, Northern Territory 1989 Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek, Jimmy Namarnyilk, England Banggala, Glen Namundja, Graham Badari, Gabriel Maralngurra, Isaiah Nagurrgurrba web page
Irrunytju Arts not known not known Yannima Tommy Watson web page
Iwantja Arts Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands, South Australia 1995[3] web page
Jirrawun Arts Wyndham, Western Australia not known Paddy Bedford, Freddy Timms
Keringke Arts Santa Teresa, Northern Territory 1989 web page
Mangkaja Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia early 1980s web page
Maningrida Arts Maningrida, Northern Territory not known John Mawurndjul web page
Maruku Arts Uluru, Northern Territory 1984 web page
Mimi Arts Katherine, Northern Territory not known Bill Yidumduma Harney web page
Papunya Tula Northern Territory 1972 Anatjari Tjakamarra, Eileen Napaltjarri, Tjunkiya Napaltjarri, Makinti Napanangka, Pansy Napangardi, Timmy Payungka Tjapangati, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Doreen Reid Nakamarra, Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri web page
ProppaNOW Brisbane, Queensland 2002 Richard Bell web page
Titjikala Titjikala, Northern Territory not known web page
Tjanpi Aboriginal Baskets - Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjarra Yankunytjatjara Women's Council Central Australia (Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia) 1995 web page
Tiwi Designs Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory 1968 web page
Tiwi Island Artists Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory 1998[4] web page
Waralungku Arts Boroloola, Northern Territory 2003 web page
Warlukurlangu Artists Yuendumu, Northern Territory 1985 Sheila Brown Napaljarri, Helen Nelson Napaljarri, Norah Nelson Napaljarri, Shorty Jangala Robertson, Liddy Walker, Dorothy Napangardi, Paddy Japanangka Lewis, Paddy Japaljarri Sims, Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, Mary Anne Nampijinpa Michaels web page
Warmun Art Centre Warmun (Turkey Creek, Western Australia) 1998 Shirley Purdie web page
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Kununurra, Western Australia early 1980s web page
Warlayirti Artists Balgo, Western Australia 1987 Susie Bootja Bootja Napaltjarri, Takariya Napaltjarri, Topsy Gibson Napaljarri web page
Yirrkala (Buku-Larrngay Arts) Yirrkala, Northern Territory not known web page

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, the reference for the location and year of establishment of each centre is the organisation's web page.


  1. ^ Wright, Felicity and Morphy, Frances 1999-2000. The Art & Craft Centre Story. Canberra: ATSIC (3 vols).
  2. ^ Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, [1]. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, June 2007.
  3. ^ The centre's predecessor, Indulkana Arts Association, was established in the 1970s. Iwantja Arts, About us, retrieved 8 March 2009]
  4. ^ Formed as a network of three pre-existing art organisations

External links[edit]