Aboriginal Art Co presents a selection of contemporary sculptures and works on canvas by Aurukun’s Wik & Kugu Arts Centre.
Aak min! (pronounced ah-k min) in Wik-Mungkan Language means “Beautiful Country”. When Wik & Kugu artists paint or carve the many stories belonging to their Traditional Lands, they share both the beauty of their Country and the rich cultural heritage handed down to them over many thousands of years.
Wik & Kugu Arts Centre is located in Aurukun, a small Aboriginal community on the north-west coast of Cape York Peninsula. The Art Centre is renowned for highly collectable wooden sculptures produced in the men’s workshop. The women’s workshops are known for ochre and acrylic paintings.
Artists exhibiting at the Vault Gallery:
Creating objects is an important ceremonial practice in Aurukun that dates back generations. Today many of the carvings have been given a new contemporary context and can be found in homes and institutions all around the world. Unlike religious sculptures that would belong to a particular clan, the sculptures featured in the Vault Gallery are for everyone. With great skill the artist transforms materials such as ochre and milk wood into these sculptures that embody the spirit of these beloved companions. Each sculpture has unique characteristics, a playful nature and distinctive features are shown through their body language and expressions.
Landscapes surround the sculptural works showcasing the natural beauty and vibrant colours of Aurukun. These landscape paintings not only celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Aurukun but are a testament to the artists’ deep connection to the land and their talent for capturing the beauty and spirit of country.
To open the exhibition artists Keith Wikmunea and Lex Namponan traveled down to Brisbane. Not only do Keith and Lex have an amazing arts practice but they are also very giving with their knowledge. Upon entering Aboriginal Art Co both artists were immediately welcoming, sharing both stories and language with everyone at the opening. AAK MIN! Beautiful Country is a very special exhibition and offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Aurukun.
Aak min! Beuatiful Country is on display in the Vault Gallery at Aboriginal Art Co until
1 July, 2023.
Aboriginal Art Co is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Australian Government through Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS), with philanthropic support from Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF).