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A Guide to Art Galleries at Uluru

Aboriginal art is one of the oldest art traditions globally, created by the indigenous people. Our native art includes several types of works such as wood carvings, ceremonial clothing, rock carving, leaf paintings and sand painting. The symbols and patterns of the paintings is a sort of language that communicate the age-old traditions of the aboriginal people. It mainly reflects the rituals and religious ceremonies of first Australians. 

Uluru is a significant ancestral landmark to the first Australians. They believe that it was formed by ancestral beings during dreaming. Indigenous people believe that Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuta are sacred places. The place has aesthetic value for tourists due to its beauty and unique artworks.

If you want to explore Uluru art, visit Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia's Red Centre. The park's cultural centre has two Aboriginal-owned art galleries that reflect the Anangu art and crafts, and these are Maruku arts and Walkatjara art. Besides this, you can also explore the Gallery of central Australia and rock art around Uluru.

Walkatjara Art Gallery

Walkatijara Art Gallery is a non-profit art centre that belongs to the Mutitjulu community and owned by the Anangu (Aboriginal people from the Western and Central Desert of Australia). Its lively paintings reflect the local Tjukurpa stories and tell the timeless stories of Uluru. The vibrant desert colours of the paintings are filled with traditional aspects of the desert life that keeps the Anangu culture alive. Visiting this Uluru art gallery will tell you a lot about Anangu culture. 

Their painting studio is open to the public, where you can buy paintings to support the Mutitjulu community. 50% of your money goes to the artists and the rest is used to run the art centre.

Earth Sanctuary sky tour

Walkatjara Art Gallery

Maruku Arts

Like Walkatjara Art Gallery, Maruku is also a not-for-profit art corporation owned by Anangu. This art gallery at the Cultural Centre of the national park demonstrates the beautiful creation of the local Anangu artists and the traditional woodwork of Uluru and its nearby areas. About 900 aboriginal artists from 20 indigenous communities across the western and central desert make up this Maruku Art Gallery. You can browse through wood carvings, walka boards, accessories, tools, and weapons and understand this artwork's meaning.

Maruku Art Gallery also has an online store to find different products, including painting and punu (wooden carvings), small and big canvas paintings, t-shirts, handcrafted jewellery, and traditional tools. For years, Anangu is passing its knowledge to the next generations through workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, and tours. The most famous is the dot painting workshop run by the artists. In this workshop, an Anangu artist will guide and teach you about ancient symbols and tools used in Anangu art as you also paint your own souvenir.

Maruku Arts Gallery

Maruku Arts Gallery

Maruku Arts Dot painting workshop

Maruku Arts - dot painting workshop

Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA)

Located at Ayers Rock Resort next Desert Gardens Hotel, the Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA) is another art destination around Uluru that displays artworks of emerging and existing artists. Here you can also find specially curated items like Punu, and other art pieces handcrafted by local communities. This cultural hub inspires and educates its visitors about Uluru aboriginal art through enriching art discussions and revolving exhibitions.

In addition to this, there is an ongoing artist in residence program where artists work in the gallery for the whole day. They are free to create, exhibit, and sell their artworks during this time.

The authentic art pieces of the gallery are for sale to the guests. You can purchase this artwork and support the family of artists working in the central desert region. 

Gallery of Central Australia

GoCA Gallery

Gallery of Central Australia Artist in Residence

GoCA Artists in Residence Program

Aboriginal Rock Art

Another art form that you can witness at Uluru is the Aboriginal rock art. This rock art depicts the age-old Tjukurpa stories. The rock art sites have different figures, symbols, and pictures on top of each other. The overlapping on rock surfaces shows Anangu has been using these rocks for education for tens of thousands of years. Anangu uses these rock arts and sand drawings to teach their creation stories. The Uluru rock arts are scientific and historical evidence of human occupation in this area. The art is about at least 30,000 years old.

Go on an art adventure today

FAQ

Yes, Uluru has rock art on it with different symbols, pictures, and figures that tell you about the age-old Tjukurpa stories.
Though it is difficult to calculate the age of Uluru rock art, it is believed to be at least 30,000 years old.
Yes, there are two art galleries in the cultural centre of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park that showcase Anangu art and crafts. These are Maruku Arts and Walkatjara Arts.
Anangu made their paints with ash and natural minerals to create rock art. They used to place dry materials in flat stones, crush them and mix them with water or animal fat. The different paint colours were red, yellow, grey, black and orange. Red ochre and yellow ochre came from iron-stained clays, while the burnt desert oak gave black charcoal and white ash.

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