If you’re visiting Darwin, the regional capital of the Northern Territory, be prepared to immerse yourself in the local Indigenous Australian arts scene. Darwin is known to be a hub for artists in Australia, in particular Indigenous artists.
From dot paintings to rock art to tree bark painting, there’s no shortage of Australian Indigenous art forms and artists to be discovered. Below, we’ve rounded up 7 of the best places around Darwin to learn more about Aboriginal art in Australia, from galleries to markets to natural displays.
The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)
The MAGNT Darwin is the main museum in Australia’s NT. It’s home to expertly curated exhibits featuring works from those native to the region, as well as artists from other parts of the country. The MAGNT Darwin is known for having the longest-running Australian Indigenous art award.
Mason Gallery has been a go-to destination to discover Australian art in Darwin since 1997. The gallery boasts an impressive collection of art sourced primarily from the NT. In addition to artwork, this gallery offers a selection of giftware including hand-made jewellery, ceramics and glassware.
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In the iconic UNESCO-listed Kakadu, which is also the country’s largest National Park, lies centuries-old rock art. Here, you’ll find x-ray paintings on the smooth rock surfaces of animals and stories about law and behaviour created by the local Bininj/Mungguy people.
With Trafalgar, we’ll take you to Ubirr walk where you can see the historic Australian Aboriginal art up close and learn about the fascinating stories behind them.
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There’s no better place to discover Indigenous Australian art than Outstation Gallery. Outstation works directly with Aboriginal owned art centres. They exhibit and promote the work from emerging and established Indigenous artists. Outstation also displays works from non-Indigenous artists from the Darwin area.
Expect to find an array of colourful work in the form of traditional media, like bark paintings and hollow logs, to more contemporary pieces such as acrylic paintings, photography and fibre art.
Parap Village Market
If your trip to Darwin falls over a weekend, be sure to pop by the Parap Village market on Saturday. Here you’ll find all sorts of crafts, food and music to soak up the local culture. Plus, in the surrounding area of the market you can find three local galleries that specialize in Indigenous Australian Art including Outstation, Salon Indigenous Art Projects and Northern Centre for Contemporary Art.
Darwin Visual Arts
Darwin Visual Arts Association was formed in 1983 by a collective of artists looking for a place to make art and exhibit their work. Today, the DWAA continues to operate as an artist-run space and features the works of both emerging and established artists who are local to the Darwin area. The centre frequently hosts special events and exhibits so be sure to check out their website to discover what’s on.
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Mbantua Fine Art Gallery
This Darwin gallery features paintings and artworks primarily sourced from the Utopia Region of Central Australia. In addition to big pieces of art, Mbantua also carries smaller items and giftware. It’s a popular destination for travellers to bring home a unique souvenir.
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On Trafalgar’s Outback Safari tour, you’ll have some free time to spend in Darwin where you can visit these destinations and discover the incredible Australian Indigenous art that the region has to offer.
Are we missing anywhere? Let us know in the comments.