Milingimbi Art & Culture Centre
The Milingimbi Art & Culture Centre is located on an island community off the coast of East Arnhem Land, 206km west of Nhulunbuy with a population of around 1,000. Milingimbi Arts supports the long tradition of creative and cultural works including bark paintings, carvings and weaving. Many of Milingimbi’s artists both past and present are represented in collections internationally.
Bark painting alone is said to have a tradition stretching back thousands of years, long before the arrival of Europeans. They have been officially recorded by balanda (non-Yolngu) as having been commissioned as early as 1912, and were collected during the 1920’s from the time the first Methodist missionaries arrived.
Some missionaries encouraged the artists to use their creative skills in the art and craft field as a commercial activity, but it wasn’t until the 1960’s that it would become a major source of rupiah (income) for them. Of course many items made by the locals are still used for practical and, most importantly, ceremonial purposes.
To enter the Aboriginal Community of Milingimbi you will need a permit which allows you to visit. The permits can be obtained through the Northern Land Council.