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Elcho Island Arts is a community operated art centre celebrated for its originality and use of traditional bush materials. Located in Galiwin'ku, north-east of the Arnhem Land coastline, Elcho Island Arts specialises in weavings, fibre art, carvings, ceremonial poles and painted artworks. The art centre also supports emerging and established artists from Galiwin'ku and neighboring Marthakal homelands, offering workshops in professional development artwork production and design.
Paintings by Ruth Lulwarriwuy depict life in Galiwin’ku. Ruth was born at the Yirrkala Mission in 1952 and comes from a large family of artists. She came to Elcho Island when she was 18 and started her family. Her grandmother taught her basket making skills; she still regularly collects pandanus and natural dyes from the bush around Galiwin’ku with her sisters, including renowned fibre artist Mavis Warngilna Ganambarr. With the encouragement of her sister Mavis and printmaker Sean Smith, in 2010 she started to depict her woven mats on canvas with acrylic paint. Her first body of paintings were exhibited at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, and acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria.
Lulwarriwuy has been making pandanus mats for many years and has a signature style and range of colours. With the encouragement of her sister Mavis and Arts Development Officer Sean Smith, she started to depict her woven mats on canvas with acrylic paint. She had never painted before and says at first she was ‘a bit shaky’ and wondered if she should. Now she greatly enjoys painting. In 2011 she painted the exterior of the Galiwin’ku Motel with birds and dogs as well as paintings of her weavings.
Artist: Ruth Lularriwuy
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Koskela’s social impact program commits 1% of revenue (10% of profit) to facilitate collaborations between artists working in Indigenous-owned art centres and our team, to create new contemporary design products. We also stock a selection of social impact products from around the world.
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