Gorge artists pathway
THE $16 million Mossman Gorge Gateway due to open next month is not just good news for up to 70 people who will gain direct employment as a result.
Importantly the new interpretive centre also allows a platform for the Mossman gorge indigenous community to promote their culture, providing a tremendous showcase for local artists who will be showcased in the art centre.
Construction of the new visitor centre is complete and refurbishing underway and the electric shuttle system is due in the next few weeks with the aim of providing economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits to the indigenous community.
With up to 500,000 tourists expected to visit the centre every year, the community is excited about the opportunities.
Local artist Karen Gibson said the exposure was unprecedented for Mossman Gorge’s creative side.
“The gateway is the correct name for the development as it provides a gateway for the community,” she said.
“It provides an amazing opportunity for artists in our community.
“It also provides an opportunity for the world to see our culture, our talents and our very unique art.
“People often have a preconception of Aboriginal art - but it is so different tribe to tribe and generation to generation.
“The artwork from this community is really inspired by the rainforest.”
Ms Gibson said the added exposure would encourage more Kuku Yalanji people to tap into their creative side and provided long-term protection for their land and culture.
“There are so many artists in this community, many people do not even realise that they are artists,” she said.
“The Gateway project means our community can become self-sufficient, and that our land is protected.”
Encouraged: artist Karen Gibson (right) with Vanessa Cannon and Sheryl Burchill