Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre
Emerging from the rainforest canopy and a culture spanning countless generations, the work of Girringun artists is attracting a lot of attention.
Established in 2008, the Girringun Art Centre is home to multi-award winning artists and craftsmen. Located in Cardwell, Queensland, Girringun represents artists from nine Traditional Owner Groups: the Nywaigi, Gugu Badhan, Warrgamay, Warungnu, Bandjin, Girramay, Gulnay, Jirrbal and Djiru people.
The traditional country of these groups covers some 1.2 million hectares of country in the state's far-North. Objects from this country are significantly different from those of much of the rest of Australia. Weaving is done by both men and women, and the diversity of resources between land and sea have resulted in a vast array of implements being crafted for use.
A living functioning art centre, it is not unusual to see artists in the workshop developing new work and honing their craft. The stories and environments of this ancient culture are being transformed daily into visual images and designs by weavers, painters, potters, textile artists and makers of traditional objects. These artists bring to life the unique cultural story and expression of the distinctive Aboriginal rainforest art traditions and culture of the Girringun region, to share with the world.
From his home in Cairns, Arone Meeks now creates works of art that speak to us of cross cultural interaction, relationships, gender, traditional and modern spirituality and his environment. Meeks, of the tribal group Ku Ku Imidiji, grew up in Laura, and has made extensive accomplishments achieved in study, residencies, commissions, community arts, and public art attribute to an outstanding career to date, reflecting his seemingly endless passion and determination for studio practice and teaching. His works are testament not only to his skills and talents as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, but also to his wonderful sense for colour and design that allows his work to shine. Presently, working Part time in Indigenous Sexual Health and in remote communities, delivering Cert 3-4 in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Identify and culture. Meeks is represented in many public and private collections nationally and internationally, including Artbank, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, AGNSW, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Biblioteque Nationale (Paris), The Bromberg Collection (Cincinnati), Cairns Art Gallery, City Gallery (Christchurch), GOMA, Massachusetts College of Art (Boston), National Gallery of Japan and University of Queensland.
Bana Yirriji Art Centre
The Bana Yirriji Art and Cultural Centre is located on the banks of the Bloomfield River just below the Wujal Wujal Waterfall.
Our artist’s inspiration comes from the land that surrounds them, rainforests, waterfalls, mountains, rivers and the sea. A lot of the paintings are from cultural stories passed down to them from their families and Traditional Elders.
Our vision is to keep and hold the culture safe and sacred, also to keep the community strong in mind and spirit. We are empowering our people to develop and share their culture, knowledge and skills to promote a flourishing and economically sustainable Art and Cultural Centre.
Cape York Art
Over the past few years, Cape York Art has worked to establish our brand at major art fairs and successfully introduced numerous emerging artists to the market to the delight of the public, collectors, and art institutions. We have raised the profile of established artists and secured
exhibition opportunities for them nationally and internationally. The works of
Cape York artists are now held in major art collections in Australia, Europe,
and the United States.
We develop art, design and merchandise imbued with the cultural
knowledge and skills of our ancestors. We all live or have connection to Cape
York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia.
We produce fine artworks, weavings, jewellery, prints and
We utilise images and techniques forged over 60,000 years of
living on Country connected to our land and Dreamtime stories.
Our products are made
with meaning. Our artists keep our Cape York culture alive and strong.
Gab Titui Cultural Centre
The Gab Titui Cultural Centre, located on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, will provide you with a unique insight into the region's vibrant art and culture. The Centre supports artists from across the region through a range of arts development and cultural maintenance initiatives. Gab Titui also provides an outlet for the ethical sale and promotion of artists’ work.
Indij Design helps lovers of standout textiles and pattern by creating unique textiles inspired by stories of connection to country. Our goal is that Indij Design textiles and functional artist maker products will bring joy to your home and put a delightful spring in your step when you wear them.
Freda Masina is a strong and proud Yidinji/Goreng Goreng woman born in her traditional lands around the Atherton Tableands.
Freda is an Aboriginal artist, now based in Innisfail and is the founder of “Jitta Art”, the messenger bird. An accomplished artist, she specialises in cultural weaving and knew from the moment she weaved her first Dilly Bag that this was her life purpose that would provide a sense of belonging.
It is her life passion to create a safe space where artists can come together to share their unique stories and skills through the medium of art, passing on their culture to future generations. She has a special focus on the culture of the Bama People who were the first people of the Far North Queensland rainforest lands.
Freda loves making art through weaving grass baskets, painting on canvas, making wall hangings from recycled items such as recycled nets and natural fibres, hand-painted material linen and silk, Batik (wax work), screen-printing and marbling material.
She is enthusiastic about expanding her business further, sharing her deep artistic knowledge and teaching others wherever possible.
Kgari 3 Sisters
Susan was born and raised in Cairns with her parents Diana (nee Barnes) and Stephen Stanley Reys who was a member of the Jirrbal cultural group. On her mother’s side through her grandmother Eva Sweetland Coates, Susan is a descendant of the Butchulla people (aka Badtjala) who were forcibly removed from K’gari (Fraser Island) to Yarrabah in 1904, and her grandfather Charles Sweetland Coates was a Guugu Yimithirr man from the Dharrpa Warra clan around the Morgan River. Her Aboriginal name given to her is Duliny which means Owl. Susan’s totems are the Waandaar (White Cockatoo) and Dolphin. She is privileged to know her family history and bloodline and to continue her people’s ancient tradition of painting and storytelling from her home studio where she works with stoneware glazes, textile designs and canvas paintings. Her works are inspired by various symbols found on rock art and carved trees within her country, and the marks made in the sand during traditional story telling that continue to be practiced in the living culture. Susan has been exhibiting since 2000 and currently operates the successful retail business ‘K’gari 3 Sisters’.
Mornington Island artists are heavily influenced and connected to their Land and Culture in their artistic interpretations. Their remoteness means the artists concentrate heavily on cultural and spiritual subject matter – all centred on connection to Country
The artists work in many different mediums, from painting to music and dance to story telling. Language is integral to all creative activities at the Art Centre and the primary purpose of the Mirndiyan Gununa is to maintain and develop the cultures of the Lardil and Kaiadilt people by strengthening the Community and promoting the unique Cultures to the rest of the world.
MIArt studio on Mornington Island is a place of shared Culture and creativity – a place where stories are told and memories are kept alive. Joyful and exuberant and always tinged with the sadness of histories, the personal and Family histories stretching back and back. Country is the location as much as it is the heritage and the abiding subject matter of the artists. These artists confidently tell their stories about their families’ deep-rooted connections to the Old People that results in works of outstanding beauty and clarity because Culture is strong and central to everything.
The richness and vibrancy in these paintings, by both the established artists and the new generations of emerging artists sharing and learning together, show that living in a remote Community doesn’t mean being out of touch.
At Native Creations we handcraft authentic and traditional Aboriginal artwork and artifacts at our family owned workshop and studio in Babinda QLD. Our works include returning boomerangs, clapsticks, didgeridoos and much more. Garth forms the other side of the partnership who is well skilled in fashioning beautiful artifacts from basic raw materials. All of our paintings are original and handpainted by our artist Yoongali, from North Queensland rainforest people.
Pormpuraaw Art & Cultural Centre
Pormpuraaw means entrance way in Thaayorre language. It is a remote aboriginal community located on the Gulf of Carpentaria on the Cape York Peninsula. It is a beautiful location near the beach surrounded by wetlands filled with native birds. It is the traditional homeland of the Thaayorre and Kugu tribes. Mungkan people from the north also live here. It is a sanctuary for language and culture. Our artists work in painting, printing, traditional weaving, ghost net weaving and woodcarving. We have a reputation for innovative Ghost Net sculptures. Our art work is a celebration of our Indigenous culture a bridge to the outside world. Our centre is a community centre first all are welcome. Come visit our booth at the CAIF festival or take the long drive and visit our community.
UMI Arts is the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural organisation for Far North Queensland.
Far North Queensland is an area that extends north of Cairns to include the Torres Strait Islands, south to Cardwell, west to Camooweal and includes the Gulf of Carpentaria and Mt Isa regions.
Paul Bong (aka Bindur Bullin), is a descendant of the Yidinji tribe who occupied the fertile rainforest lands from Cairns in the north to Babinda in the south and west into the Atherton Tablelands as far as Kairi. His ancestral history is rooted in this region. Bong's great-grandparents were both tribal elders, when all the lands were Yidinji. His father, George, also knew the traditional ways of living. He spoke the Yidinji language (Yidiny), though he wasn’t allowed to speak it when he went to school. George was forced to reject the traditional ways and to assimilate into white society. This broke the continuity of Bong's culture, language and heritage from being passed down through the generations.
Bong grew up around the Yattee area near Wright Creek in Far North Queensland. He is driven to regain the stories and culture that was lost to European settlement and to share what was lost through his work. His grandmother, who spoke Yidiny, taught Bong stories and legends about the rainforest – its bush food, animals, young warriors and special places such as Babinda Boulders and the Gordonvale Pyramid. These stories are the inspiration for many of his works. Bong incorporates traditional designs with modern techniques with each design having its own spiritual meaning.
Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct
The Yarrabah Arts Centre is a dynamic space for local artists to undertake the many local art forms and cultural activities including ceramics, painting, carving, weaving, and screen printing (textiles). Well known for its pottery, the Arts Centre continues to produce outstanding ceramics and is increasing its presence in the Indigenous art scene with a number of exhibitions. The Art Centre continues to increase its national and international profile in the Indigenous market, strengthening local economic development and is available for bookings by the public or community service agencies to engage in or facilitate arts or cultural activity programs.
The Art Centre has a retail outlet and a gallery exhibiting locally made art and merchandise for sale to the public as well as the commissioning of works on request. The artists also create artworks to support public art in the Yarrabah Community and the Yarrabah Shire Council.
Hopevale Arts & Cultural Centre
The Hopevale Arts and Cultural Centre was opened in 2009 as an open and accessible space for all Hopevale community members to pursue their interest in art, and to maintain the stories and traditions of the local Guugu-Ymithirr culture.
The Centre is often used for community events, meetings and private functions. It is open to the public Monday-Thursday, and throughout peak tourism seasons we run a range of workshops and public talks from the garden of the centre. We sell a range of locally made arts and crafts through the attached Nganthanun Bmawi-Bayan Gallery.
The Hopevale Arts and Cultural Centre is a not-for-profit Indigenous corporation managed by a small team of administrative staff and a Board of Directors. Board members are elected by the Hopevale community at the annual general meeting every November. The Board is comprised of six local leaders who work with the Manager to achieve strategic goals and ensure the Centre meets its goals to promote and preserve the traditional Guugu-Ymithirr culture.
Government funding supports a portion of operational costs however the centre relies on sales of artwork and bookings for workshops and dance performances to maintain sustainable business.
The centre welcomes tourists travelling through the area – free tourist information about the local area is provided by staff at the centre or by our local artists. We welcome you to stop by and make use of our garden and facilities for a lunchtime stopover.
Art of Cape York by Babia
Vincent Babia is a descendant of the Ait Kodal (Crocodile clan) and Samu (Cassowary clan) from Saibai Island and his family is one of many that relocated from Saibai to mainland Australia in the 1940s and 50s.
He is a highly regarded sculptor of ceremonial masks, canoes and drums with works represented in the National Gallery of Australia. His Cairns Art Gallery exhibition traces the stories of Saibai Island culture and the pearl luggers’ journeys from the island to the mainland, through sculptures and related vinyl cut prints..
Islander Art by Muriel Wymarra
Muriel Ann Wymarra, is a strong and proud Torres Strait Islander woman who is now based in Cairns, Far North Queensland.
An interest in crocheting led to her experimenting with various types of yarn and resulted in her becoming an accomplished artist uniquely making her products from recycled T-shirt material. Her artistic style and inspiration are driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture.
Since then, her skills have been refined and developed so that today she makes high-quality crochet products such as tote and bucket bags that are from recycled material. The quality of her work is easily recognisable and highly sought after.
Muriel enjoys networking and partnering with fellow Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists across the region which helps to motivate her own business aspirations and share her work with community.
Today, Muriel shares her days producing her art in the morning, and then works as a Social Worker in the afternoon, ensuring she can continue to contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth