Top tips for art collectors travelling to Alice Springs

Image Source: Tourism NT/Felix Baker

Alice Springs is an excellent starting point for art collectors travelling across Australia. Discover the array of local galleries and community initiatives giving local artists an opportunity to showcase their work to the public.

Visiting the different Aboriginal art centres is a very sentimental and unique experience, enabling you to learn about the stories directly from one of the world’s oldest surviving cultures. Aboriginal art is all about sharing stories connected with the spiritual association of a landscape. Local artists see their art as an opportunity to share the Dreamtime stories and song lines for generations to come. The region plays a vital part in one of the most significant movements in Australia’s art history – the Western Desert art movement. Aboriginal artists in Papunya began painting traditional designs using modern acrylics and canvas, and this was how Papunya Tula Artists began.

In Alice Springs town centre, you can visit local art galleries like Gallery Gondwana, Talapi, This Is Aboriginal Art and Papunya Tula Artists. To gain access to a variety of art within all types of budgets, explore commercial galleries like the Mbantua Gallery and Many Hands Gallery too.

For an immersive experience and a close look into the art, Palya Art Tours provides a remote experience to communities in North Western Australia. This three-day tour departs from Alice Springs and will personally fly you in a small plane to the remote locations. Fly across the incredible landscape and have the opportunity to learn about diverse art styles directly with the artists, and the connection to the land.

When it comes to choosing your art, there are a few steps to take before committing to buy it. First, learn about the meaning behind the art. Each piece tells a story and it’s important to learn about what the story of each artwork means. Next, begin to identify the different styles so you can determine why type of Aboriginal art you like. Visit the array of galleries located in the town centre of Alice Springs, and you’ll start to identify various styles. Also, be mindful of the art’s authenticity. More often than not indigenous art is not signed however by purchasing only from members of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia, the Indigenous Art Code or the Australian Commercial Galleries Association you’ll be able to guarantee that what you are purchasing is authentic.

Beyond paint on canvas, explore the possibilities and alternatives to this. Learn about weaving and sculptures; bark paintings, poles, screen-printed paintings and fabrics too. A great place to check out is the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, who create woven baskets and sculptures created from wild grass. The Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a great incentive allowing women in remote communities to be able to earn an income through their woven art.

Alice Springs has an incredible array of local artists work showcased, providing you with the perfect opportunity to pick up a one-off piece, found nowhere else in the world. Learn about Aboriginal culture and the significant role the land plays in this artistic process.