Culture

The Best Northern Territory Events, Galleries And Stores To Celebrate Indigenous Art And Design

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Indigenous designers finally got the recognition they deserved at this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, and frankly, we want more.

A record 13 Indigenous artists had their work shown across two days, including a collection of fashion designers, textile artists, jewellery designers, photographers, models and beauty specialists called First Nations Fashion and Design (FNFD).

The best news is, the Northern Territory has a heap more events showcasing the best Indigenous art and fashion designs. Not to mention some of the best galleries and outlets to buy ethical and authentic Indigenous creations from artists in the area. Here are 10 to get you started.

Events

 #1 National Indigenous Fashion Awards

August 3, Darwin

Launched just last year in 2020, the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) provide a platform for celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers. This year the awards will be in Darwin, or you can tune into NITV.

#2 Country to Couture

August 4, Darwin

As a highlight of the annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Country to Couture is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textiles and fashion design. Expect epic runway shows displaying work from Indigenous designers and artists around the country, as well as collabs between Indigenous communities and well-known Aussie labels.

#3 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

August 6-8, Darwin

Your best opportunity for buying artwork directly from over 70 Indigenous-owned Art Centres is the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. There’ll also be a program of traditional dance, workshops, artists talks, food, film and fashion that the public can attend.

#4 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA)

August 7 2021 – January 2022, MAGNT Darwin

You’ll have plenty of time to get to Darwin’s Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory to admire the winners of NATSIAA, Australia’s longest-running and most prestigious art awards for Indigenous artists. You can expect a range of contemporary artworks from around Australia.

#5 Parrtjima – A Festival in Light

April 8-17 2022, Alice Springs

If you like Vivid, you’ll fall in love with Parrtjima. Every April, Alice Springs comes to life with 10 nights of light and sound. It’s the only authentic Indigenous light festival of its kind, mixing the world’s oldest continuous culture with the latest technologies with the epic backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. You can check out pics from past festivals here. 

Galleries And Stores

#1 Aboriginal Fabric Gallery

Shop 1, 91 Todd Street, Alice Springs

Find authentic and high-quality Indigenous fabric at the Aboriginal Fabric Gallery in the heart of Alice Springs. You’ll find rugs, wall hangings and gifts from mostly Central Australian artists.

#2 Paperbark Woman

Shop 13 Arafura Plaza, 24 Cavenagh Street, Darwin

Find fabrics, homewares, clothing, bags and more that were designed by Indigenous artists at Paperbark Woman. If you’re a keen sewer yourself, there’s plenty here to load you up for your next projects.

#3 Aboriginal Bush Traders

Lyons Cottage, 74 The Esplanade, Darwin

Aboriginal Bush Traders is a 100 percent not-for-profit organisation who source and sell ethical and sustainable products from local Indigenous communities. You’ll find everything from hand screen-printed textiles and dyed silks to skincare. It also has an onsite cafe serving up traditional bush tucker with a modern twist.

#4 Maruku Arts Gallery

Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre 

Immerse yourself in Anangu culture at the physical Maruku Arts Gallery in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, or join them on a cultural tour to experience the local arts and culture — like dot painting and punu-making (wood carving) workshops.

#5 Araluen Arts Centre

61 Larapinta Dr, Alice Springs

Operating as the visual art and performance hub of Central Australia, the Araluen Arts Centre hosts a year-round program of exhibitions, performances, and film. Here you’ll find works from both major and undiscovered Central Australian artists.


(Lead image: Facebook @Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair / Facebook @Darwin Aboriginal Art Fairvia Yarliyil Art Centre)