Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair 2018
Travel to the world’s largest exhibition of Indigenous Australian art in Darwin, and experience the riches of Indigenous rock art in Kakadu National Park.
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair gathers together the works of more than 50 Indigenous art centres and over 2,000 rising and established Indigenous artists from across the continent. The artworks exhibited range from canvas paintings to didgeridoos, sculpture, bark paintings, prints and fibre art, and cover a wealth of styles reflecting the distinct traditions of different tribal groups across Australia. Coinciding with the fair is the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, recognising the best of the year’s Indigenous art. Also visit a selection of private galleries showcasing different styles of Indigenous artwork.
After four days in Darwin, travel to Kakadu National Park, where rock art from up to 20,000 years ago represents the very beginnings of Australian art. Be awe-struck at the rock art sites of Nourlangie and Ubirr, which record the lives of Indigenous peoples from tens of thousands of years ago until the present day.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following pages may contain images and names of people who have died.
This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.
Arrive in Darwin in the early afternoon and make your way to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
In the afternoon, attend the exclusive VIP-only opening ceremony and industry preview of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, which features art from more than 50 Indigenous communities across Australia. Following a special preview of the fair, enjoy a welcome dinner with Wally and fellow travellers.
In the morning, visit the Tiwi Art Show, where artists from Bathurst and Melville Islands display distinctive Tiwi Islands art, more abstract and geometric than the narrative style of the peoples of the mainland. Continue to the Paul Johnstone Gallery, which exhibits works from community art centres across Northern and Central Australia by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, followed by free time for lunch in town.
In the afternoon, return to the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair for an afternoon at leisure viewing Australia’s largest exhibition of Indigenous art. Spend time conversing with artists, community-based art centre staff and collectors and explore the distinctive styles and media of art from the Kimberley to Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands, and from the Tiwi Islands to Arnhem Land in the ‘Top End’ and the deserts of central, southern and western Australia.
In the evening, attend the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards ceremony at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), celebrating the very best in traditional and contemporary Indigenous art in Australia.
Begin the day with a visit to the Salon des Refusés, the collection of artworks rejected by the jury of the official Art Awards. Now in its fifth year, the ‘SdR’ is fast establishing itself as one of the highlights of the Art Fair, with its bold, experimental pieces challenging received ideas about Indigenous art.
Continue to Nomad Art Gallery and explore the collection of limited-edition prints, books, fabrics and textiles from contemporary Australian artists. After free time for lunch, visit Outstation Gallery, which exhibits contemporary Indigenous art from both established and emerging artists working in traditional and modern media.
In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of MAGNT, focusing on its special exhibition of the finalists and winners in the Indigenous Art Awards.
The evening is at leisure.
In the morning, check out from the hotel and travel to Jabiru in the heart of Kakadu National Park. Along the way, take in the beautiful vistas of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed park, which spans nearly 20,000 sq km of wetlands, escarpments, rivers and floodplains and is home to thousands of species of iconic Australian birds, mammals, reptiles and plants.
After lunch in Jabiru, explore the awe-inspiring Nourlangie rock art site, with paintings dating back as far as 20,000 years, representing the very beginning of Australian art. Also known as Burrunkuy, Nourlangie represents the changing relationship of the local Bininj/Mungguy people with the landscape of Kakadu over the millennia, and tells the story of their ancestors, including Namarrgon (Lightning Man), who splits the dark clouds with his stone axes to make lightning and thunder in Kakadu’s prodigious Wet Season storms.
Dinner tonight is at the hotel, followed by a talk by your tour leader on the rock art sites of Kakadu and Arnhem Land.
Depart early for the drive into western Arnhem Land and a visit to the Injalak Art Centre, the most important community art centre in the region. Male and female Indigenous artists display their skills in distinct sections of the art centre, with the male artists specialising in screen printing and fabric work, while the female artists continue their millennia-old tradition of pandanus weaving.
After lunch, return to Kakadu National Park to visit the Ubirr rock art site, famous for its ‘X-ray’ depictions of humans and animals, revealing the artists’ intricate knowledge of internal anatomy. Paintings at Ubirr include the Rainbow Serpent, barramundi, goannas, possums, wallabies and a European buffalo farmer with his hands tucked into his pockets.
In the evening, enjoy a sunset cruise on Yellow Water, a placid billabong abounding with flora and fauna, and then celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell dinner with Wally and fellow travellers.
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and transfer to Darwin Airport, arriving at approximately 12:00 for flights from 14:00 onwards.
Tour arrangements conclude on arrival at Darwin Airport. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
25 June 2018
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally located 4 and 5 star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wines with dinner
- Lectures and talks with your tour leader, Wally Caruana
- Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Hotel/airport transfer on tour departure
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport/hotel transfer on tour arrival
- Airport porterage
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service etc.
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
Darwin – Hilton Darwin *****
Jabiru – Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel ****
NB: Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted