Contemporary Art from Remote Australia
Darwin, NT — Since 2008

Art Centres

Outstation is currently working closely with 16 Aboriginal Art Centres based in remote communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land is a large parcel of the Top End that is held as Aboriginal owned and managed land. Stretching from the rocky escarpment on the western side of Kakadu National Park through floodplains, billabongs, and paperbark forests, down to white sand beaches lined with billowing casuarina trees along the top edge of Northern Australia.

As diverse as the geography, the art centres from this region produce work that shares similar forms, materials and techniques – bark painting, woven fibre work and wood carving – with new contemporary interpretations unique to locale.

To visit Arnhem Land, you must have a signed permit from one of the township communities. Access in the dry season is by road; during the wet months roads are impassable, with the only access by air or sea.

Learn more about the art centres in Arnhem Land that Outstation works with.

Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara Lands (APY)

The Anangu people linked by their languages of Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara are known collectively as the APY Lands (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara). Situated in the remote north-western pocket of South Australia, most of the art centres are nestled amongst the Mann, Musgrave, Tomkinson and Everard Ranges.

Outstation has been working with a number of these art centres since 2008, including Tjungu Palya, Tjala Arts, Mimili Maku, Ninuku Arts and Ernabella.

The APY region produces a diverse range of artwork, each community is marked by their own tjukurpa such as the honey ant for which Tjala Arts takes its name. Work from this region is represented in many public institutions and prominent private collections both nationally and internationally.

Learn more about the art centres in the APY Lands that Outstation works with.

Central Australia

Art of the Central Desert is defined by the area at the lower end of the Northern Territory centred around the township of Alice Springs in the red centre.

Sharing borders with the Western Desert and the APY Lands to the south, art of the Centre is marked by historical and familial connections. Like their neighbouring regions, painting is well represented by Central artists, as are contemporary interpretations in fibre and soft sculpture. New artforms reflect cultural diversity and the ability to engage new techniques in the reinvention of traditional stories.

Learn more about the art centres in the APY Lands that Outstation works with.

The Kimberley

Facing the Indian Ocean on its north-western edge, the Kimberley sits at the topmost part of Western Australia. Closer to Darwin than to the State’s capital in the south, the region is marked by a rugged landscape with dramatic seasonal shifts. Torrential rain fills waterholes and gorges, runs down escarpments to form waterfalls below. Like much of the neighbouring Top End, areas become impassable in the Wet Season.

Like their Western Desert counterparts, artists from this region have long enjoyed recognition for their work. In recent years many more art centres have been established to support the growing interest and community development that they provide.

Early innovators included Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie (both deceased); work by Dolly Snell and Lisa Uhl are current leaders in the field of contemporary abstraction from this region.

Learn more about the art centres in The Kimberley that Outstation works with.

Tiwi Islands and the Top End

Encompassing the topmost area of the Northern Territory, art from the Top End shares some similarities with work from the desert regions, such as traditional techniques in weaving, but differences are also defined by their locale such as the Tiwi Islands.

Communities in the west such as the Daly River region, have shown contemporary innovation through their adaptability to different media. Regina Wilson of Durrmu Arts has achieved much recognition for her paintings depicting the style and stitches of her woven work.

The Tiwi Islands lie 100 km north of Darwin at the junction of the Arafura and Timor seas. The islands’ are marked by their history of isolation, as such the work is significantly different in subject and stylistic innovation to their mainland counterparts.

The diverse forms of woodcarving, printmaking and painting are all characterised by a geometric abstraction using natural ochres often finely linear in form and design.

Learn more about the art centres in the Tiwi Islands and the Top End that Outstation works with.

Western Desert

In the far-eastern regions of Western Australia, sharing borders with the Northern Territory and South Australia, these lands are marked by an isolated landscape of red dust and big sky.

Stretched between the Gibson and Victoria Deserts, the area is vast. Some of the works from these regions are interconnected with the neighbouring APY lands, but distinct and separate as revealed by their interpretation of law and country.

The small township of Tjukurla servicing Tjarlili artists, share familial connection with nearby Warakurna to the south. Communities at Tjuntjuntjara and Ilkurlka are some of the remotest places in Australia, and home to the dynamic, diverse and vibrant, Spinifex Arts Project.

Learn more about the art centres in the Western Desert that Outstation works with.