Wik and Kugu Arts Centre began as an independent arts initiative in the 1990s and was officially established in 2001 to service artists from the five Aurukun clan groups, Apalech, Puch, Sara, Wanam, and Winchanam. Perched on the eastern edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria in remote Far North Queensland, the Art Centre comprises a men’s art studio and workshop, a women’s art studio – named after eminent artist Akay Koo’ Oila – and a gallery space.
The Centre is renowned for the exquisite wooden sculptures produced in the men’s workshop, which represent an extension of traditional cultural practices related to animal totems. In addition to the carved sculptures, the men produce bold ochre and charcoal works referencing traditional body painting designs, and more contemporary prints. The women produce acrylic paintings mixed with ochre, and are well known for their Aurukun-specific Feather Flowers and God’s Eyes.
Wik and Kugu is enterprised by Aurukun Shire Council. If you can’t make it to Aurukun in person, you can call Art Centre manager Sabine Hoeng and organise a call via FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype, for a private tour and viewing of the works at close range. Wik and Kugu opening hours are from 8am to 4pm and by appointment.
Male artists include:
Female artists include:
Image: ‘Ku (Camp Dogs) from the men’s workshop.