ESTABLISHED IN 1989 as a screen-printing workshop, Injalak Arts quickly expanded into selling paintings and sculptures made by Kunwinjku-speaking artists based in Gunbalanya and outstations (small home land communities) in West Arnhem Land. The surrounding landscape is an ecologically rich environment which has inspired artists for at least 65,000 years. On sandstone outcrops around West Arnhem Land, one can find beautiful and ancient rock art paintings – expressions of an astounding creative tradition.
The traditional palette of red, white, yellow, and black are all naturally occurring pigments that are found in the local landscape. Some contemporary artists also use acrylics. Kunwinjku artists use traditional rarrk, both single and crosshatching, as well as x-ray styles that have been adapted from ceremonial painting and rock art.
Fibre works such as string bags, baskets, mats and sculptures are created from locally sourced natural materials. The vibrant colours are produced from flowers, berries and roots. Injalak Arts is known for hand screen printed textiles inspired by animals, plants and traditional cultural objects and practices. Injalak Arts is an art school for emerging Kunwinjku artists, a repository for cultural treasures as well as a gateway for guided tours of sublime rock art galleries on Injalak Hill.
Permits from the Northern Land Council are required to visit Injalak. To drive in you must cross a tidal river that is only accessible in dry season.
Image: artist Gabriel Maralngurra painting. Courtesy: Injalak Arts.