Art Cen­tre set for a new era

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Madi­son Wil­liams

THE Yalanji Art Cen­tre in Moss­man Gorge has un­der­gone a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment that will pro­vide a more com­fort­able and ef­fi­cient workspace for Yalanji artists.

While con­tin­u­ing with the pro­duc­tion of fine art, the new business model for the Cen­tre will also fo­cus on the high end tourism sec­tor through the pro­duc­tion of qual­ity art prod­ucts.

The Art Cen­tre Man­ager, Yalanji woman Ms Ch­eryl Burchill, said de­spite an international de­cline in in­dige­nous art sales over the past few years the art cen­tre will thrive with the sup­port of the Moss­man Gorge Cen­tre.

“The stan­dard sales ap­proach of in­dige­nous art cen­tres across the coun­try is to fo­cus on sales through cap­i­tal city art gal­leries and ma­jor art fes­ti­vals as they pro­vide ac­cess to large mar­kets,” she said.

“How­ever re­cent changes to su­per­an­nu­a­tion rules and a na­tional over­sup­ply of in­dige­nous art­work has seen re­duced prof­its and in­come for artists.

“We are in the for­tu­nate po­si­tion in this re­gion where we have over 2.2 mil­lion vis­i­tors each year who spend around $1 bil­lion – we don’t have to go to the mar­ket, the mar­ket comes to us.”

Moss­man Gorge Cen­tre gen­eral man­ager Ben Pratt said the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Yalanji Art Cen­tre and the Moss­man Gorge Cen­tre is ben­e­fi­cial for both par­ties.

“Each year 300,000 peo­ple visit the Gorge through the Cen­tre and many – espe­cially those 50,000 peo­ple who par­tic­i­pate in the Dream­time tours – ex­press a de­sire to pur­chase a re­minder of their visit or a present for friends and rel­a­tives,” he said.

“We find it dif­fi­cult to source au­then­tic and eth­i­cally pro­duced prod­uct and look for­ward to work­ing with the Yalanji Art cen­tre to pro­vide locally crafted prod­uct.”

The Cen­tre is a long stand­ing in­sti­tu­tion that has a na­tional and international rep­u­ta­tion.

The Queensland Gov­ern­ment con­trib­uted $200,000 from the Cape York Wel­fare Pro­gram to the Yalanji Art Cen­tre Re­fur­bish­ment pro­ject.

The Gov­ern­ment’s Department of the Prime Min­is­ter and Cabi­net com­mit­ted $111,000 to jointly fund the pro­ject. The work was over­seen by the Department of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Part­ner­ships.

Fed­eral MP War­ren Entsch opened the cen­tre and of­fi­cially cut the rib­bon with the help of two in­fants.

“These kids are the next gen­er­a­tion, these are the ones who will learn their tra­di­tions and their cul­ture in­side this cen­tre and will be pass­ing it on to the next gen­er­a­tion,” he said. “That’s the fu­ture.”

Cut­ting the rib­bon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.