In Yolngu culture the land, sea, ceremony, songs and art are connected. Milingimbi artists share these connections and stories in unique fibre works, barks, ceremonial poles and carvings. Works from Milingimbi are recognised for their quality and cultural significance and are collected in many national and international institutions.
The centre is an Indigenous owned corporation, which supports Yolngu culture and sustainable livelihoods for artists. It is a social, cultural and economic hub for the community. Milingimbi Art provides income for many families living in Milingimbi and its regional homelands. Our service area extends to support Yolngu from over 12 language groups.
Milingimbi Art supports the sharing of ceremonial knowledge across generations through community partnerships (Junior Rangers, School excursions). This includes shared natural materials harvesting trips, traditional art making workshops and demonstrations at the art centre.
- We value Yolngu culture as the foundation of daily life in Milingimbi and support meaningful and sustainable work for artists and senior elders.
- We sell artists work at a fair price that acknowledges the artists cultural knowledge, skills and labour.
- We represent and promote our artists to access national and international markets.
- We invest in artist development and day to day on the job training of our staff.
- We support traditional skills and knowledge through there everyday application at Milingimbi Art. Milingimbi Art supports living culture, documents current artworks and artist stories for future generations, and holds extensive historic records that have been repatriated to the community.
- We are lead by a Yolngu board of directors and are committed to strong governance.
Artwork from Milingimbi was first commissioned as early as 1912, and was collected during the 1920’s from the time the first Methodist missionaries arrived. By the 1960’s the centre was a leader in establishing the market for traditional Yolngu art in national and international collections. MACAC is housed in a historical building, constructed in the 1930’s.
The art centre supports artists day to day as well as in the long-term. At the art centre we:
- harvest materials (bark, bulgur, ochre, pandanus, hollow logs). To protect the sustainability of the environment we often travel to other islands to harvest materials.
- supply materials and tools including; fine art paper, fixatives, brushes, needles, axes, machetes, boat, sand paper, grinders, saws and chainsaw
- document and archive artworks and artists stories. Art centre staff maintain a database of all artworks made by artists at Milingimbi. Each artwork is photographed and its story translated.
- document artistic development for the community. Documenting the development of an artists practice is an important way of supporting the development of Yolngu culture across generations. The art centre is a place that the community can visit to see artworks made by their family members dating back to the 1930’s.
- document artistic development for the market. The art centre provides information to institutions and collectors that adds to the value of the artists artwork and supports the acquisition of their artwork into major public and private collections.
- maintain strong relationships with galleries, museums, commercial galleries and private collectors. These relationships ensure that Milingimbi artists are recognised nationally and internationally for their artistic and cultural excellence. This type of recognition supports a growing interest in artwork from Milingimbi and adds economic value to artwork made by Milingimbi artists.
- provide employment. The art centre employs 6 Yolngu staff members and provides training in all aspects of art centre operations. Training includes artwork; documentation, cataloguing, handling, conservation and sales. Yolngu staff support artists by harvesting materials and providing training.
- provide training with the guarantee of increased income for unemployed people. The art centre provides training for CDP participants. Our program combines participants natural skills of collecting and preparing materials with training in applying these skills.