Art galleries in Darwin and surrounds are as fascinating and diverse as the extraordinary artworks they hold. Attending an exhibition in the Top End can mean anything: exchanging knowing nods to post modernism in a contemporary commercial gallery, or meeting with indigenous artists at a remote art centre and learning the ancient stories behind some of the traditional local art.
Darwin is the perfect place to get to know Northern Territory art in all its forms – sculpture, photography, painting, ceramics – and to get to know its artists, newcomers and renowned. Here, you'll find hip, hidden galleries crammed with contemporary art created by emerging artists, and locally owned and run indigenous art galleries showcasing authentic traditional and modern art from communities from far and wide. Get an overview at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), the prize-winning public gallery proudly displaying the region's finest.
Take a tour of the art centres of Bathurst and Melville Islands to see an intriguing variety of Aboriginal art. Tiwi artists are famous for their traditional paintings, carvings, tutini poles and ceramics and well as contemporary screenprints, woven accessories and sculptures. Taking an art tour of the Tiwi Islands' art centres gives you the opportunity to see artwork unique to this remote area, and to meet and purchase work directly from the artists.
Art auctions and fairs
Outside of the galleries and art centres, the best way to see and purchase art is at art fairs and auctions. In March, hundreds travel to the Tiwi Islands for an unlikely marriage of passions: the Tiwi Island Football Grand Final and Art Sale. In Darwin, in August, the Darwin Art Fair brings art and artists from more than 40 communities to town. Be prepared to while away hours meeting with artists and working out where you're going to show off your purchases.