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Aboriginal Culture in Perth & WA

With a history stretching back at least 50,000 years, there are many ways to explore WA’s rich and diverse indigenous heritage. From guided tours providing an in-depth look at Aboriginal ancestral practices and bush tucker, to galleries full of authentic artwork, ancient rock art, festivals, song and dance performances, the oldest surviving culture in the world has never been more accessible. You will find these experiences dotted throughout the state.

Latest News

Our Land, Our Place celebrates Aboriginal artists from across WA

Our Land, Our Place celebrates Aboriginal artists from across WA

Our Land, Our Place is an exhibition that showcases paintings from 8 Aboriginal art centres across Western Australia’s remote communities...
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Hip hop legends stand tall on the big issues

Hip hop legends stand tall on the big issues

Perth is about to be treated to an extraordinary collaboration from some of the heaviest hitters in local hip hop,...
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Open-air galleries: incredible rock art of WA

Open-air galleries: incredible rock art of WA

If the term ‘aboriginal art’ brings to mind galleries, art fairs and exhibitions, why not take your experience to the...
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Tura’s residency program supports young musicians at Fitzroy Crossing

Tura’s residency program supports young musicians at Fitzroy Crossing

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project is part of Tura's Regional Residency program. Based in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Kimberley,...
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Where to try bush tucker across WA

Where to try bush tucker across WA

If you’re a lover of Aboriginal art and culture, there has never been a better time to extend that experience...
Read More

Guides


Our Land, Our Place

Opening in NAIDOC week this group exhibition highlights the importance of country through imagery and storytelling.

  • Dates:July 8 - Sep 27
  • Time(s):10.30am - 5pm
  • Venue:Council House

Details

  • Hosted By:Artitja Fine Art
  • Venue Address:Ground Floor, Council House, 27 St George's Tce, Perth, WA
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions
  • Audience:Adults
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting,Photography

Description

A visual exploration of complex stories around the geography of the land and narratives associated with different times, this exhibition has been sourced by Artitja Fine Art Gallery from some of the most remote and established art centres throughout Western Australia.

With over 40 artists from regions as distant as Kalumburu and Balgo in the Kimberley,
to the Pilbara and Tjukurlu in the western desert and Kalka on the WA/SA/NT border,
the exhibition gives an insight into the cultural importance of place and story.

The exhibition will also incorporate the WA launch of the Indigenous Jewellery Project,
Australia’s first and only National Indigenous Contemporary Jewellery project.
Opening in NAIDOC week this group exhibition highlights the importance of country through imagery and storytelling. A visual exploration of complex stories around the geography of the land and narratives associated with different times, this exhibition has been sourced by Artitja Fine Art Gallery from some of the most remote and established art centres throughout Western Australia.

With over 40 artists from regions as distant as Kalumburu and Balgo in the Kimberley,
to the Pilbara and Tjukurlu in the western desert and Kalka on the WA/SA/NT border,
the exhibition gives an insight into the cultural importance of place and story.

The exhibition will also incorporate the WA launch of the Indigenous Jewellery Project,
Australia’s first and only National Indigenous Contemporary Jewellery project.

Opening in NAIDOC week this group exhibition highlights the importance of country through imagery and storytelling. A visual exploration of complex stories around the geography of the land and narratives associated with different times, this exhibition has been sourced by Artitja Fine Art Gallery from some of the most remote and established art centres throughout Western Australia.

With over 40 artists from regions as distant as Kalumburu and Balgo in the Kimberley,
to the Pilbara and Tjukurlu in the western desert and Kalka on the WA/SA/NT border,
the exhibition gives an insight into the cultural importance of place and story.

The exhibition will also incorporate the WA launch of the Indigenous Jewellery Project,
Australia’s first and only National Indigenous Contemporary Jewellery project.

Opening in NAIDOC week this group exhibition highlights the importance of country through imagery and storytelling. A visual exploration of complex stories around the geography of the land and narratives associated with different times, this exhibition has been sourced by Artitja Fine Art Gallery from some of the most remote and established art centres throughout Western Australia.

With over 40 artists from regions as distant as Kalumburu and Balgo in the Kimberley,
to the Pilbara and Tjukurlu in the western desert and Kalka on the WA/SA/NT border,
the exhibition gives an insight into the cultural importance of place and story.

The exhibition will also incorporate the WA launch of the Indigenous Jewellery Project,
Australia’s first and only National Indigenous Contemporary Jewellery project.

Out Of The Boxes And Into The Desert

Out of the Boxes and into the Desert explores the Berndt Museum of Anthropology's collection of paintings from the Central Desert.

  • Dates:Jul 13 - Dec 7
  • Venue:Berndt Museum

Details

  • Hosted By:Berndt Museum
  • Venue Address:35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:UWA: University of Western Australia
  • Event Venue:UWA Cultural Precinct
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal

Description

Following on from a recent storage collection project, the Berndt Museum seeks to provide access to works of art that have been inaccessible for decades. These works include stories of ancestral beings that travelled across country, through wormholes and into the stars.

Curated by Vanessa Russ

Stories And Structures - New Connections

This exhibition brings together a story-telling and image making tradition, developed over 60,000 years or more, with scientific imaging created by high-tech instruments.

  • Dates:Aug 9 - Oct 13
  • Time(s):9:30am – 3:00pm
  • Venue:Museum of Geraldton

Details

  • Hosted By:Museum of Geraldton
  • Venue Address:2 Museum Place, Batavia Coast Marina, Geraldton, Western Australia, 6530
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions,Free,Museum events
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:WA Museum
  • Event Venue:Museum of Geraldton
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting

Description

Stories and Structures - New Connections, presented by Microscopy Australia, explores the rich connections between Aboriginal art and the microscopic structures hidden in the natural world, revealing unexpected and intriguing similarities.

This exhibition brings together a story-telling and image making tradition, developed over 60,000 years or more, with scientific imaging created by high-tech instruments.

The artists who have participated in this exhibition come from around Australia and have brought their own styles, traditions and insights to produce new works relating to selected microscopic images. The works reveal the deep and intimate relationship between Culture and Country in a wholly new way, with previously unseen cross-cultural perspectives on how we all know and understand our world.

Ice Land: A Hip h’Opera

Fractured like shards, Cole, Carly and Joy must fight the demons of their past to reclaim their future, but it's not easy to leave behind the crystal meth plains of Ice Land.

  • Dates:Oct 15 – 26
  • Time(s):Evening shows 7.30pm; Sat matinee 2pm
  • Venue:Subiaco Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
  • Venue Address:180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco WA 6008
  • Ticket Price:$30
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Performing Arts
  • Audience:Adults,Wheelchair Access
  • Performing Arts:Theatre
  • Music:Other Music
  • Produced By:Yirra Yaakin

Description

With the flow of jazz, the soul of blues, the energy of electro and the power of funk, Ice Land: A Hip h’Opera uses the language of hip hop to tackle a tough issue currently affecting our society – the plague of methamphetamine use.

Meth has torn apart many areas of our community without prejudice towards gender, age, race, class, income status or religion. Yirra Yaakin has gathered powerful testimonials from users, carers, family members and many others to piece together a full-length contemporary theatre performance using hip hop as the key musical and philosophical drive. Join us as we explore the journey of Ice addiction in all its states, including happiness, invincibility and clarity, through to despair, fear, psychosis and, ultimately, the breakdown of our communities – their ruin.

Alongside a team that boasts some of Western Australia’s best artists, including Australian hip hop kings Downsyde, WA hip hop queen Layla, multi-disciplinary performer, musician and singer Moana Mayatrix of MOANA, and solo hip hop maestro TROOTH, we explore a very timely subject and ultimately ask the question: if meth use continues to escalate within our communities, what is going to happen to our society as a whole?

This production contains coarse language, drug references and adult themes. It is recommended for patrons aged 16+.

Ngalipa Wangka Art Project

The East Kalgoorlie Primary School (EKPS) Ngalipa Wangka Art Project is a collaboration between acclaimed local Aboriginal artists Edie Ulrich, Marjorie Stubbs and Danny Ulrich and EKPS upper primary.

  • Dates:Nov 1 - Dec 9
  • Time(s):10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Venue:Museum of the Goldfields

Details

  • Hosted By:Museum of the Goldfields
  • Venue Address:17 Hannan St, Kalgoorlie WA 6430
  • Type:Museum events,Aboriginal Art / Performance
  • Audience:Family-Friendly,For kids 4-12
  • Produced By:WA Museum
  • Event Venue:Museum of the Goldfields

Description

This project provided an amazing opportunity for students to absorb cultural knowledge and mentorship from respected members of the community and to share this with the wider Kalgoorlie-Boulder community.

Together we have created a major artwork which depicts local flora interwoven with elements of local Aboriginal culture.

EKPS would like to thank our sponsors who have provided invaluable support, both financially and in practical ways.

This truly has been a team effort and we are so grateful to you all. 

Out of the Boxes and into the Desert: In Dialogue with Conservation

Join conservator Michael Houston to learn some of the stories behind preparing the Out of the Boxes and into the Desert exhibition.

  • Dates:Nov 15
  • Time(s):1.00pm - 2.00pm
  • Venue:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Details

  • Hosted By:UWA
  • Venue Address:35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions,Free,Talks & Lectures
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:UWA: University of Western Australia
  • Event Venue:Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Historical,Other Visual Arts,Painting

Description

Out of the Boxes and Into the Desert features extraordinary artworks that have been in storage at the Berndt Museum for many years. Bringing these artworks to exhibition standard has required close attention to their conservation and preparation.

Join conservator Michael Houston to learn some of the stories behind preparing this exhibition.

Painting conservator Michael Houston worked within the commercial Indigenous art industry for nearly a decade. He possesses extensive exposure to, and understanding of, Indigenous Australian painting practice both traditional and contemporary in nature. He completed a Masters of Cultural Material Conservation with Dean’s honours from the University of Melbourne in 2014. In 2018 he was tasked with completion of the final objective of the Berndt Museum Storage Improvement Project, entailing the stabilisation and preparation for storage/display of over 150 canvas paintings.

 

Image: Opening night, Out of the Boxes and into the Desert, Berndt Museum. Photograph by Ilkka K Photography.

Aboriginal Dot Painting

Come along and Join Nyoongar Artist Sharon Calgaret in July and learn to create your own Dot Painting Artwork!

  • Dates:July 25, Sep 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Time(s):12 noon - 2pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Curious
  • Venue Address:12 Captains Lane Fremantle, Western Australia 6160
  • Ticket Price FROM:$20
  • Ticket price TO:$50
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting

Description

Please book tickets Eventbrite and tag along on one or all of the dates below. Bookings are Essential.

Canvas boards and materials supplied. Please bring along any particular pots or other objects you would like to decorate.

Thursdays 4 and 25 July 12.00 noon to 2.00 pm
Wednesdays 4, 11, 18 and 25 September 12.00 noon to 2.00 pm

Fire Country Dreaming

Warlukurlangu Artists draw on one of their major Jukurrpa narratives: Fire Country Dreaming

  • Dates:August 30 - October 22
  • Time(s):Weekdays 10 AM - 5:30 PM , Weekends 12 PM - 5 PM
  • Venue:Japingka Gallery

Details

  • Hosted By:Japingka Gallery
  • Venue Address:47 high Street, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:FREE
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions,Free
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting

Description

Fire Country Dreaming is a Jukurrpa ancestral story that falls under the custodial role of Jampijinpa and Jangala men and Nampijinpa and Nangala women.  Paintings often refer to major sites associated with the story, including the men’s cave, Kirrkirrmanu where the sacred kangaroo was killed and Marnimarnu waterhole.

On the Coast

An exhibition by Fiona Omeenyo and Rosella Namok from their homelands on Cape York Peninsula.

  • Dates:Sep 3 - Oct 22
  • Time(s):Weekdays 10 AM - 5:30 PM, Weekends 12 - 5 PM
  • Venue:Japingka Gallery

Details

  • Hosted By:Japingka Gallery
  • Venue Address:47 HIgh Street, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions,Free
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting

Description

These two artists evoke their experience as Indigenous residents of a particular coastal landscape and show us their Country and the emotional power of traditional life there. 

While Fiona Omeenyo captures the coastal lifestyle of her people living at Lockhart River settlement in far North Queensland, Rosella Namok reveals the look of the beach landscape at Lockhart, the ocean horizon with tropical rain and the changing light during the day

Drawing Australian Animals

Learn to draw Australian animals with an Aboriginal influence and discover the Nyoongar symbols used in art.

  • Dates:Sep 5, 12 & 19
  • Time(s):12pm - 2pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Venue Address:12 Captains Ln, Fremantle WA 6160
  • Ticket Price:$15
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance
  • Audience:Family-Friendly,For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17
  • Visual Arts:Aboriginal,Painting,Drawing

Description

About the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

  • Learn about Aboriginal history and culture
  • Learning about the Aboriginal Dreamtime ( the Dreamtime are Aboriginal stories and legends of how their land was created)
  • Observe Aboriginal art and craft being created (painting basket weaving wood carving or burning jewellery making etc)
  • Shopping at gift shops memorabilia or tourist shops
  • Visit or shop at an Aboriginal art gallery with authentic arts and crafts

Storyline

Storyline Art Exhibition Artworks by Michael Miller acknowledging the longevity of Aboriginal life on this land. Australia's own Garden of Eden. Opening night Sept 19th. 6.30 - 8 pm

  • Dates:Sept 19 - 25
  • Time(s):11am - 4pm Daily ..Closed from 1.30 pm Friday 20th.
  • Venue:Kidogo Arthouse

Details

  • Hosted By:Kidogo Arthouse
  • Venue Address:Bathers Beach Fremantle
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Art Exhibitions
  • Audience:Adults
  • Visual Arts:Painting

Description

“I invite you to journey through time and reflect on the mystical story of Aboriginal life, prior to colonisation, on this great land. A story that spans many tens of thousands of years. Storyline is a collection of my art that reflects the respect that I, and many others have, for the original custodians of this amazing land. It’s about the story I was never taught at school as a young boy growing up in WA. It’s about the wonderful connection to land, culture, spirit and community that is the trademark of the worlds oldest living culture.”

Join with me and imagine a time long ago in Australia’s own Garden of Eden.

 

Free Film - The 1905 Act And Personal Experiences

An introduction to Aboriginal culture, the experience of invasion and colonisation and the ongoing struggle of Aboriginal people to maintain their identity as the first people of this land.

  • Dates:Sep 20
  • Time(s):12.00pm to 2.00pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Venue Address:12 Captain's Lane, Fremantle 6160
  • Ticket Price FROM:$0
  • Ticket price TO:$0
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Film
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17,For seniors

Description

Against a backdrop of the account of the Western Australian 1905 Act, Leisha Eatts, Walter Eatts and Caron Farmer tell how this Act has shaped their lives and indicate how it reverberates still in the daily experience of Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal Astronomy Night

Come and hear Aboriginal Elder, Noel Nannup, tell the creations story and then check out the sky through our telescopes and marvel at the universe that was used by the worlds first astronomers.

  • Dates:Sep 21
  • Time(s):7.30pm to 9.30pm
  • Venue:Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory

Details

  • Hosted By:Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory
  • Venue Address:1098 Military Road, Yeal WA 6503
  • Ticket Price FROM:$30
  • Ticket price TO:$48
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Science
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,For toddlers 0-3,For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17,For seniors

Description

Join us for one of our Aboriginal Astronomy sessions where you will sit with Indigenous elder, Dr Noel Nannup, and explore the dark Western sky and learn about the Aboriginal dream time stories of creation.

You will then head over to our observatory where you will look through our telescopes at the wonders of our universe.

Ezra Jacobs - A Story Of Healing

From Rottnest Prison to Wadjemup, Noongar man Ezra Jacobs will discuss Wadjemup/Rottnest Islands' Aboriginal heritage

  • Dates:Sep 23
  • Time(s):5.00pm
  • Venue:State Library Theatre, State Library of Western Australia

Details

  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance,Talks & Lectures
  • Audience:Adults
  • Event Venue:State Library of WA

Description

This talk will cover traditional Whadjuk Noongar connections and the Islands colonial history of imprisonment for Aboriginal men and boys from 1838-1931. Ezra will share his experience as a young Whadjuk Noongar man to raise awareness of the deeper connection of Wadjemup’s Aboriginal culture and history with contemporary concepts of truth telling and healing

School Holidays - Boomerang Painting

Come along to Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre and have fun painting your very own Boomerang.

  • Dates:Sep 26 & Oct 10
  • Time(s):12.00pm to 2.00pm
  • Venue:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Venue Address:12 Captain's Lane, Fremantle 6160
  • Ticket Price FROM:$0
  • Ticket price TO:$0
  • Type:Aboriginal Art / Performance
  • Audience:For kids 4-12,For teens 13-17

Description

SCOOP