buku art gallery

Located at Yirrkala this both a welcoming place for visitors and a showcase of the best that contemporary bark painting has to offer. It houses the historic Yirrkala Church Panels (1962) regarded as amongst Australia's most important artworks. Buku Larrngay also home to a distinguished collection of historical bark paintings, carvings of totemic ancestors, artifacts and historical photographs. This center is recognised as one of the pre-eminent strongholds of bark painting with many outstanding works in collections around the world.


elcho island yolgnu art gallery.

Situated on Eagles Bluff overlooking Mission Beach. This cliff top, south east of Galiwin’ku town centre, is the nest of an eagle in Yolngu mythology. The Island is home to the largest Aboriginal community in north east Arnhem Land with approximately 2000 residents living in the main settlement of Galiwin’ku and across many outstations. Eighteen connected clan groups within the Elcho Island locale have close cultural ties with mainland Arnhem Land clans and language groups. The most commonly spoken languages are Djambarrpuyngu and Gupapuyngu (both Yolngu Matha languages). However, there are at least 12 more languages in use in the region.

yolgnu art

Cultural Galleries

Art and craft is a potent force in Arnhem Land life, which is gaining worldwide recognition. The Gove Peninsula has two outstanding art centres, Buku Larrngay Mulka in Yirrkala and Elcho Island Art and Craft.

All are open to visitors and are a must on any itinerary. Arnhem Land is the home of the yidaki (known to other Aborigines as the didgeridoo) and the Yolngu are master players and craftsmen of this instrument. Whereas artists from other Arnhem Land regions have moved to painting with acrylic on canvas the artists of North East Arnhem continue to render their sacred designs in the natural media of ochres on bark. This not only reflects the sanctity of their connection with the land they paint but an artistic discipline that is recognised internationally.

World War II & Historical Location

boomerang bomber

During World War II, the Gove Peninsula was a key in the defense of northern Australia. World War II relics can be seen around Gove Peninsula. Historic sites include Drimmie Head where the Catalinas landed in the bay and taxied onto land and remnants of the ELDO (European Launch Development Organisation) program satellite down range tracking station.

The is also a new World War II aviation display being installed in Gove's new airport.

For more information please contact:Arnhem Land Historical Society

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