An artistic icon on the Stuart Highway has been given new life.
By Tamara Howie
The former Framed Gallery has been transformed into Provenance Arts, offering a space that goes beyond a gallery and retail experience.
Mentor manager Felicity Wright says the Darwin-based venture of Injalak Arts is creating a space for visitors and Aboriginal artists to connect and feel a sense of belonging.
“The welcome mat is out,” she says.
“What we’ve got here is a comfortable space for Aboriginal people to come, and that suits visitors because they want to interact with Aboriginal people.
“Even people living in Darwin don’t get that level of interaction. Sometimes their only experience is walking past people on the street, but there is a wealth of knowledge and culture in community.”
Wright says when the opportunity arose to bring some of that community knowledge and spirit they have at Injalak Arts in Gunbalanya to Darwin, they jumped at it – even though it was a mammoth undertaking by the small organisation.
But all the hard work has paid off.
Visitors can weave their way through the bright store to find high-end art for collections, rows of hand-printed fabric, and soaps and giftware from Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from remote Australia, with a focus on the Top End.
“It’s been hard to explain it because it’s so diverse,” Wright says.
“We’ve got tourism information, fine art, ethical retail and souvenirs, hand printed fabrics and prints and we’ve got these amazing prints from John and Anne from Framed’s collection.”
Provenance Arts will also host special activities, workshops, events and exhibitions.
“It’s very, very evolving, but you can see the vision – there are all these aspects about bringing people together,” Wright says.
TUE – FRI, 10AM-5PM | SAT & SUN, 10AM-3PM | STUART HIGHWAY, STUART PARK | provenancearts.com.au