aboriginal art gallery

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Out of the frame

The vibrant hues of Tropical North Queensland are reflected nowhere better than in its thriving art scene. From traditional Indigenous artworks to contemporary styles, the tropical north is a hotbed of artistic talent. For a one-stop-art-shop, make a beeline to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), a three-day feast of Indigenous art and culture held mid-year.

Or do your own gallery hop. In Cairns, meet some of the nation’s leading Indigenous artists quietly working away in the studio behind the Canopy Art Centre. Maybe you’ll encounter someone like Torres Strait Islander Glen Mackie, who comes from a long line of carvers etching legends onto linoleum – his prints are found on walls around the world. Then move on to KickArts, a cache of homewares, jewellery, fashion and artworks. Chic and cutting edge, it’s a strong person who walks out empty-handed. Find more contemporary works at the artist-owned Underart Gallery and an eclectic calendar of exhibitions at the Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns.

Seriously adventurous? Head off the beaten track to the Bana Yirriji Art and Cultural Centre in Wujal Wujal near Cooktown, accessible via the Bloomfield Track. Roads can be cut during the wet season, but what better than to be marooned in an artistic community that produces everything from textiles to wearable art and paintings? This small outpost is a hot bed of talent, rewarding those who undertake the adventure. If this all ignites your own inner artist, Brian “Binna” Swindley of Janbal Gallery in Mossman holds intimate workshops to help you produce your own masterpiece or you can peruse works of art from the Cape at Pandanus Art Gallery in Palm Cove.

Inside the historical Cairns Regional Art Gallery

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