Wik and Kugu artists launch merchandise

by | Aug 21, 2019 | Uncategorized

Wik and Kugu artists Amelia Woolla, Jennifer Woolla, Rachel Pamtoonda and Barbara Ampeybegan at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

Aurukun’s famous camp dogs and totems of the Wik and Wik Waya people have inspired a range of  Wik and Kugu Arts Centre merchandise to be launched at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF). 

Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Dereck Walpo said the community’s artists had designed a range of hand-printed quality cotton t-shirts, bags, linen aprons and tea towels.

“The merchandise will be available at the CIAF Art Market on July 12-14 at the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre stalls featuring the work of the male and female artists,” he said.

“Affordable paintings on Belgian linen using Aurukun ochres, God’s eyes, feather flowers and small law poles called poinks will be for sale.

“Wik and Kugu Arts Centre Manager Sabine Hoeng and 13 artists are in Cairns for CIAF and the public will be able to meet them at the Art Market stalls and at the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre display inside the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.

“It is a great opportunity to see the Wik and Kugu art and learn more about the culture of our remote Aboriginal community where the children grow up speaking Wik Mungkan and its dialects as their first language.

“Cultural practices are very much a part of everyday life in Aurukun and we are very proud to have a bark canoe made by students under the guidance of the Elders on display at the Art Fair alongside the Wik and Kugu carvings.

“The canoe will then travel to Brisbane to be part of a Wik display for the International Year of Indigenous Languages at the State Library.”

Ms Hoeng said the artists had been involved in a series of workshops to refine their art techniques in time for CIAF and this was reflected in the variety and calibre of the work included this year.

The Wik & Kugu Arts Centre has a gallery, men’s art studio with a work shed, and a women’s art studio named after eminent artist Akay Koo’Oila. Visitors are welcome. 

Call Arts Centre Manager Sabine Hoeng on 4060 6843 or email arts@aurukun.qld.gov.auto organise a video call via FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype to show you around the Gallery and see the artworks.