For thousands of years, Anangu have used art to communicate, tell stories and teach – just look at the paintings you’ll find around the base walk at Uluru for proof! Traditionally paint was made from natural mineral substances mixed with water or animal fat, typically in hues of red, orange, yellow, white, grey and black.
In 1971, the Western Desert Art movement is considered to have begun in Papunya - in outback terms, considered just down the road at 240 km north-west of Alice Springs.
This is the moment Indigenous iconography that had long appeared in caves, ground painting, body painting and decorations of ceremonial objects was first depicted on canvas using colourful acrylic paints - and the dot painting that is so synonymous with Indigenous art was born.
Western Desert dot paintings surged in popularity and today you’ll find local artwork sold and displayed around the world.
At GoCA, visitors can see a variety of traditional and modern paintings in these styles, from small canvases to large statement pieces. The complimentary daily tour tells the story in more detail, while explaining how the style has evolved over the years.
In addition to paintings, GoCA displays art forms such as fabric and textiles, wood carvings, jewellery, and other handcrafted items.