MARUKU literally means belonging to black. This is because Maruku is owned and operated by Anangu (Aboriginal people from the Western and Central Deserts). For 35 years Maruku has operated as a not-for-profit arts and craft corporation across 22 communities in the APY Lands, serving more than 500 artists. It is the only organisation in the area concentrating on punu (wood carving). Its purpose is to keep culture strong through art, tours and cultural experiences.
Maruku is an important source of income for artists living in remote communities. Its Pununman and woman drive out to the communities to pick up the carvings, from Finke, through the APY Lands to Docker River, Tjuntjuntjara and to all the communities as far as Warburton. Maruku Arts holds workshops with artists and families to develop and keep punu alive. Its goal is to make people aware of the unique and beautiful wooden sculptures that come from the heart of Australia.
List of current artists:
Cynthia Burke, Dallas Smythe, Rene Kulitja, Billy, Cooley, Lulu Cooley, Francine Kulitja, Sandy Willie, Kathryn Queama, Pantjiti McKenzie, Brett Jennings, Adele Jennings, Marc Morris, Errol Evans, Tanya Singer
Commercial gallery partners:
NSW: APY Galleries, Darlinghurst; Artsite, Camperdown; Coeeart, Bondi; Frame 88, Middle Cove;
Sturt Gallery, Mittagong; Yaama Ganu, Moree.TAS: Art Mob, Hobart.
VIC: Vivien Anderson Gallery, St Kilda. ACT: Artmark Gallery, Canberra; Burgmann College Gallery, Canberra. NT: Central Craft, Alice Springs; Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin; RAFT artspace, Ciccone; Salon Art Project, Darwin; Talapi, Alice Springs.
QLD: Ngarra Gallery, Port Douglas; Suzanne O’Connell Gallery, New Farm.
WA: Tunbridge Gallery, Cottesloe
SINGAPORE: ReDot Fine Art Gallery
Image: Kathryn Queama, Ngura (EX1706AS). Acrylic on Belgium linen, 112.5 x 115cm. Courtesy: Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College and Maruku Arts.