Arts & Culture
The East Kimberley offers a wide variety of different art styles and whether you are an avid art collector or simply would like a piece of local art as a memento of the East Kimberley, you will find it in one or more of the below galleries.
Kimberley Aboriginal Artists
Kimberley Aboriginal Artists is a powerful alliance that brings together four Kimberley art centres:
•Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre
•Waringarri Aboriginal Arts
•Warmun Art Centre
Aboriginal owned and governed, the centres bring economic independence to artists by building a viable business and supporting the social, cultural and financial aspirations of members. The alliance provides a portal for information on Aboriginal artists of the Kimberley. All proceeds from the sale of art are returned to the artists and their community art centre. Kimberley Aboriginal Artists keeps Aboriginal culture strong by supporting cultural practice, recording important stories and celebrating artists' connections to their country. The Kimberley Aboriginal Artists alliance is passionately committed to sharing the richness and diversity of Aboriginal art, language and identity.
The cultures of the East Kimberley are as diverse as the landscape itself. The Aboriginal influence in the area dates back to over 40,000 years and the link from the Miriwoong people of today back through to their ancestors is still very strong traditionally evidenced through the examples of rock art dotted throughout the region. The traditional beliefs of the local aboriginal people are very much alive in their art work of today, in their dancing, their ceremonial and spiritual rites and in the strong family ties that bond the family groups together.
Considered a very intrinsic part of the East Kimberley community, the aboriginal culture of today is acknowledged through the various Aboriginal tourism operators, tourism partnerships and business ventures throughout the region.
With the western spread of the pastoral industry into the Victorial River Downs / Argyle region, a whole new culture took a strong foothold into the region. Huge expanses of land came under the control of the pastoralists and their cattle. Roads were opened up, people moved into the region, towns and industries were established and as the cattle empires spread, stockmen and house staff became the life of many of the local aboriginal people, to the point Aboriginal stockmen are recognised as some of the best stockmen in the world.
Today there is a very different culture developing in the East Kimberley, one built on modern times with a vibrant economic base in the region. Big business has been established in the East Kimberley with the building of the Argyle and Diversion dam walls. Intensive agriculture through the Ord Irrigation Scheme continues to deliver the huge potential identified so long ago. Mining has brought into the area many follow-on effects, specialised industry, a workforce, business opportunities, community participation and huge economic benefits to the area. Tourism quickly identified the huge potential the region offers and has established itself as one of the major employment and economic drivers in the region. With an abundance of natural wonders, comfortable accommodation and extensive tour options, the region is currently experiencing a huge amount of interest and attracts a growing number of visitors every year.
Today this modern mix of people of varied backgrounds forms a strong community bond, all enjoying the prosperity of a vibrant provincial town, the business houses, the schools, churches, town facilities and services that make the East Kimberley a great place to live. Remote yes, left behind, definitely not.
The Kununurra Visitor Centre will be only too happy to supply all the local arts and cultural information, along with a map and brochures. So while in town drop in and we can send you on your way.