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New and improved Yalanji Art Centre opens in Mossman Gorge

Yalanji Art Centre Mossman Gorge.jpg

The Hon. Warren Entsch MP with community members, Vanessa Cannon holding baby Yuneisia and Kim Missionary holding baby Ella.
The Hon. Warren Entsch MP with community members, Vanessa Cannon holding baby Yuneisia and Kim Missionary holding baby Ella.
19 Apr 2016

Yalanji artists have a more comfortable and efficient workspace, thanks to a major refurbishment of Yalanji Art Centre in Mossman Gorge.

The Centre is a long-standing institution that has a national and international reputation for its unique Yalanji art style.

Artists will continue to produce fine art, supporting the new business model for the Centre, which appeals to the high-end tourism sector.

The Art Centre Manager, Yalanji woman, Ms Sheryl Burchill said the Centre is in a fortunate position – they do not have to go to the market; the market comes to them.

“The standard sales approach of Indigenous art centres across the country is to focus on sales through capital city art galleries and major art festivals, as they provide access to larger markets,” Ms Burchill said.

“However recent changes to superannuation rules and a national oversupply of Indigenous artwork have reduced profits and income for artists.

“We are in the fortunate position in this region where we have over 2.2 million visitors each year who spend around $1 billion.”

Mossman Gorge Centre General Manager, Ben Pratt was excited by the revamp of the art centre.

“Each year 300,000 people visit the Gorge through the Centre and many – especially those 50,000 people who participate in the Dreamtime tours – express a desire to purchase a reminder of their visit or a present for friends and relatives,” Mr Pratt said.

“We find it difficult to source culturally authentic and ethically produced product and look forward to working with the Yalanji Art centre to provide locally crafted product.”

Cairns local Indigenous construction and landscaping business, Bama Services, was Principal Contractor on the Yalanji Art Centre Refurbishment project at Mossman Gorge.

Local sub-contractor Mossman Custom Kitchens provided the cabinetry and fit out items on the project.

Six Indigenous people worked on the six-week construction project, including three carpentry apprentices. 

Find out more

The Queensland Government contributed $200,000 from Cape York Welfare Reform to the Yalanji Art Centre Refurbishment project.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet committed $111,000 from Remote Service Delivery to jointly fund the project.

The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships oversaw the works.

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