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Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre

Title: Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre
Christina Morrissy
9th December 2018

WA’s Aboriginal art changes from region to region, with the art from the Kimberly focusing on a figure known as the Wandjina.

  • The artists behind the artwork at the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre, are continuing the oldest continuous sacred painting movement in the world. If you love art and culture, this is a must visit.
  • The centre is located just outside of Derby and is much more than a gallery – it has a spirit. The Wandjina is a spirit that speaks through clouds and rain, showing people the right way to live. The local Aboriginal people use it to teach their children not to swear, fight or steal.
  • The art gallery was started when the elders of the community decided to bring the Wandjina back by teaching what is right and wrong. The knowledge learned from the ancestors is then passed onto the children.
  • The centre itself is a giant Wandjina figure, representing the local community. While you can’t see it from the ground, you can from above.
  • There is a cave in the centre that was brought back piece by piece from where their ancestors lived. It was reassembled in the gallery as a way to show the children where the Wandjina came from.
  • The artists run and staff the centre, giving the artworks on the wall a whole new meaning.
  • In July, the gallery holds the Mowanjum Festival, a big event that people travel from all over the Kimberly for. It is the oldest running Indigenous cultural festival in all of Australia and is well worth a trip.