The Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA) is a treasure of Ayers Rock Resort. Conceived as a place where Central Australian Indigenous artists would have their work featured and careers supported, GoCA now exclusively displays over 350 artworks by emerging and established Central Australian Indigenous artists. In addition to on-canvas art, GoCA showcases specially curated items like Punu (traditional Anangu wood carvings), sculptures, and pieces designed and crafted in local Indigenous communities. These pieces are available for purchase at the Gallery, which results in direct economic support for the local artists. The Gallery also helps amplify the reach of Indigenous art to the rest of the world, bringing awareness of these masterpieces to a broader audience beyond Australia.
GoCA has committed itself to provide a platform to Indigenous communities to share their stories and culture (Tjukurpa) through art. The Gallery invites visitors to join in exploring one of the oldest living and vibrant cultures on Earth. To this end, GoCA has also procured a strong lineup of artworks from Central Australian art centres, encompassing parts of the Northern Territory, Southern Australia, and Western Australia. The lineup includes talented and renowned artists such as Mervyn Robuntja (Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT); Imitjala Curley (Kaltjiti Arts, SA); Nellie Patterson (Walkatjara Art, Uluru, NT), Fiona Young (Tjarlirli & Kaltukatjara Arts, Tjukurla, WA) and Elsie and Athena Granites (Warlukurlangu Artists, Yuendumu, NT).
Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, emphasised about GoCA: "It was critically important for us to provide an opportunity for up-and-coming regional artists, many of whom live in remote areas rarely visited by travellers, to have a place to showcase their work and be remunerated fairly and in line with industry standards to ensure an ethical supply chain."
Artist in Residence Program
GoCA has started an ongoing Artist in Residence program, primarily running during the peak tourist season. The program's main aim is to host Indigenous artists in the Gallery, creating works on-site and providing guests of the Gallery the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the featured artist at work.
We invite you to read more about some of the artists that have already completed their residencies at GoCA below.
May 2021 Artist in Residence — Athena Nangala Granites
This young and talented artist comes from a long line of creators. Athena's mother, Geraldine Napangardi Granites and her grandmother, Alma Nungarrayi Granites, are also well-known artists who paint with Warlukurlangu Artists. She is also the great-granddaughter of Paddy JapaljarriSims, one of the founding Warlukurlangu Artists.
Warlukurlangu Artists is one of the longest-running Aboriginal-owned art centres in Central Australia. It has been recognised nationally and internationally, with artists being featured in countless exhibitions worldwide. Warlukurlangu means 'belonging to fire' in the Indigenous language, Warlpiri. The name comes from a fire dreaming site west of Yuendumu.
Athena has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists since 2010. She specialises in painting Jukurrpa from her father's side (Ngapa Jukurrpa – Water Dreaming) while taking inspiration from her mother's side and painting Snake Vine Dreaming and Seven Sisters Dreaming (Ngalyipi Jukurrpa and Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa, respectively.) These stories relate to her land, the flora and fauna that inhabit it, as well as the land's features. Athena takes a modern approach in her interpretation of her traditions and culture. She uses an unrestricted palette to achieve this. When Athena's not painting, she enjoys spending time with her son, little Henry Peterson Wilson. She also likes to spend the cooler month hunting for honey ants, bush bananas, and kangaroos with her family.