Art is everywhere in Darwin, with inner-city Parap fast becoming a hub for contemporary and Aboriginal galleries. See the future of Darwin art in these exciting arts spaces, which showcase both emerging and established artists. Browse Aboriginal art from across the Northern Territory and view cutting-edge contemporary works, from audio installations to photography. Afterwards, check out Darwin’s other galleries or join a tour to discover the colourful art and craft of the Tiwi Islands.
Five minute drive from Darwin’s centre, Parap is the perfect place to start your journey into Darwin’s rich and diverse arts scene. The contemporary gallery has a big focus on contemporary Aboriginal artists, who use new forms to tell timeless Dreaming legends. Many also depict current social and political issues. You’ll also see the work of other contemporary artists, with styles ranging from dreamlike watercolours to bold geometrics and hand-painted sculptures.
You can seek out limited-edition Northern Territory art and craft in another Parap gallery. Or witness the fusion of creativity and technology in a cutting-edge arts space that features experiments in audio, video, computer-generated art and photographs. Another gallery sources works from remote communities across Australia’s desert country and Top End, providing a great overview of the different art traditions in different regions.
You can learn more about Aboriginal art, culture and heritage in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Fannie Bay. Its diverse exhibitions include the annual Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Art Award, for which 100 outstanding art works are chosen.
In Darwin’s centre the quality galleries include one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal artist’s cooperatives and one of the world’s largest privately-owned Aboriginal art galleries. View captivating works from the Top End and the remote Utopia region, north-east of Alice Springs. The Northern Territory Supreme Court also houses a magnificent Aboriginal art collection. Head here to see works by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, a leading light in the art movement that emerged from Alice Springs. Many other paintings celebrate the rich colours of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Visit Darwin’s first established art gallery in Stuart Park, where you can browse ten rooms of Aboriginal arts and craft such as glassware, jewellery, and ceramics. In Casuarina, another of Darwin’s significant studios displays limited-edition prints and works by acclaimed artists such as the late Queenie McKenzie, Rover Thomas and Prince of Wales.
For a longer art expedition, join a tour to the Tiwi Islands, which sit a 20-minute flight or two-hour ferry from Darwin. Comprised of Bathurst and Melville Islands, the Tiwi Islands are known for their colourful art and craft, distinct from the Aboriginal art of Australia’s mainland. Watch Tiwi ladies demonstrate traditional weaving and painting and browse the art centres, where pottery, carvings, jewellery and screen prints are some of the styles on display.
The Parap Arts Precinct is just one part of Darwin’s rich visual arts culture.