Gallery of Central Australia at Ayers Rock Resort Celebrates First Anniversary


31 March 2022

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is celebrating the first anniversary of the opening of the Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA) at Ayers Rock Resort complementing the diverse range of Indigenous cultural experiences currently available to guests.

Over 300 artworks from existing and emerging artists exclusively from the Central Australia and Western Desert region are displayed in the Gallery along with specially curated items like Punu (traditional Anangu wood carving) and pieces designed and hand-made by local communities.

“We are really delighted by the number of Australians wanting to travel to Uluṟu and learn more about the beauty, diversity and wisdom of Indigenous culture, so the opening of the Gallery has been really well received,” said Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

“It was also critically important for us to provide an opportunity for up-and-coming regional artists, many of whom live in remote areas rarely visited by travellers, to have a place to showcase their work and be remunerated fairly and in line with industry standards to ensure an ethical supply chain.”

To date, over 1100 consignments have been purchased at the Gallery, resulting in remarkable returns for the local artists.

The Gallery has a strong line up of artworks from painters throughout the vast Central Australia region, which encompasses parts of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. They include talented artists such as Mervyn Rubuntja (Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT); Imitjala Curley (Kaltjiti Arts, SA); Nellie Patterson (Walkatjara Art, Uluṟu, NT), Bob Gibson (Tjarlirli Arts, Tjukurla, WA), Janice Stanley (Ernabella Arts, SA), Tuppi Goodwin (Mimili Maku Arts, SA), Dianne Robinson (Iwantja Arts, SA), Athena Granites (Warlukurlangu Artists, Yuendemu, NT), Eileen Napaltjari (Ikuntji Artists, NT), Dorcas Bennett (Warakurna Artists, WA) April Spencer (Tangentyere Arts, NT), Alison Watson (Minyma Kutjara Arts Projects, WA), Rita Wilson (Ninuku Arts, SA), Billy Cooley (Maruku Arts, NT), Anawari Mitchel (Papulankutja Artists, WA), Hayley Panangka (Hermannsburg Potters, NT), Margaret Bloomfield (Keringke Arts, NT) and Betty Braedon (Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NT).

Additionally, there is an ongoing Artist in Residence program which runs during peak season, with the artists working within the gallery throughout the day. This initiative provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for guests to experience these amazing Indigenous works of art in the making.

The Gallery invites artists via art centres, private galleries and directly to come to the Resort, with Voyages sponsoring their living expenses while they are on site. Artists benefit from both the exposure and the sale of their artworks during their residency.

“In line with Voyages’ purpose, the Gallery of Central Australia will help close the gap by providing further employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians and will eventually be woven into our National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) program which has already graduated 600 trainees” said Cameron-Smith.

“The Gallery of Central Australia is the next important step in Voyages’ larger commitment to showcase the arts in the regions in which we operate,” Cameron-Smith emphasised. “We are continuing to identify opportunities which will ensure this long into the future.”

The Gallery is located adjacent to the Desert Gardens hotel. The eye-catching artwork incorporated into the logo and gallery branding were designed by Kunmanara (Julie Taria) Brumby who was a senior woman in the Muṯitjulu community, located at Uluṟu.

The artwork is titled Kapi Tjukurla with the concentric circles linked by lines representing waterholes and river courses, the traveling and resting places of Aṉangu. Dots and lines resemble the patterns of desert vegetation. Aṉangu continue to depend on their extensive knowledge of the environment to know where and when to find water. This knowledge is informed by Tjukurpa (law and culture), passed on by family and through inma (cultural song and dance).

Before her passing in 2019, Kunmanara Brumby would regularly visit Walkatjara Community Art Centre where she created beautiful works of art, most often painting the stories of the Seven Sisters, Two Sisters and stories about the waterholes and landscape of her traditional lands.

Today, her stunning artwork adorns The Lost Camel hotel and now the Gallery of Central Australia.

For more information on the Gallery of Central Australia please visit: https://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/art-gallery/goca