Maruku Arts Gallery
Welcome to Maruku Arts online gallery
We are located at the base of Uluru at the Cultural Centre inside the
Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.
For over 30 years Maruku has operated as a not-for-profit art and craft corporation, owned and operated by Anangu. Approximately 900 Aboriginal artists belonging to over 20 remote communities across the Central and Western Deserts, make up the collective that is Maruku. Our purpose is to keep culture strong and alive, through art, craft and organic experiences.
Maruku not only sells art from it’s local community Mutitjulu here at Uluru, but also sends staff to remote communities across the NPY regions (Pitjantjajatjarra, Yangkuntjarra, Ngaanyatjarra Lands) of Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, to purchase woodcarvings, and has been doing this since 1984. Maruku’s gallery supports roughly 500 anangu artists (both carvers and painters) who reside in 25 different communities.
PUNU - TRADITIONAL CARVINGS
Anangu only work on traditional carvings (punu) if they can envision the final piece present in the raw materials they see on country; the land seemingly presents the artist with the piece.
Maruku ensures artist time and expenses are remunerated fairly, however the punu (the wood itself) is the purest form of a gift from the carver to the receiver. Punu is a slow growing piece of an Anangu artist’s ancestral lands. Punu is painstakingly sought and willingly given, to enlighten the world to the presence of the Pitjantjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra and Yankunytjara peoples of the central and western deserts.
KEEPING CULTURE STRONG
Here we have Lulu Cooley burning a pair of Timpilypa (Music Sticks) that her husband Billy Cooley had just carved. Timpilypa are used by both men and women and played by holding one stick loosely in the hand while striking it with the other in a slow rhythmic beat. Differences in pitch and tone are achieved by varying the point and intensity of contact. Rhythmic accompaniment to singing and dancing is part of celebrating the Tjukurpa.
Maruku Arts is unlike any other non-for-profit aboriginal owned organisation. Maruku is completely independent and does not receive any operational funding. Maruku is the only NPY regional gallery in Australia which is owned and directed by Anangu, for Anangu (Aboriginal people of the central and western desert area).
For Anangu people, making art is about sharing culture and stories. Its about being on country and spending time with family. Its about keeping culture strong and passing on knowledge.