Wik and Kugu Arts Centre was established in 1987 to service artists from the five Aurukun clan groupings, 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 (Akay Koo’ Oila), and a gallery space.
Wik and Kugu Arts is especially 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 on canvas 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 Arts Centre is enterprised by Aurukun Shire Council. If you cannot make it to the Art Centre in person, you can call Art Centre Manager Sabine Hoeng and organise a video call via FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype, for a private virtual tour around the gallery and a viewing of the artworks at close range.
Image: Artist Leigh Namponan with his Ku’ sculptures.