Located in Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) in Western Arnhem Land, this aboriginal arts and crafts association has a wonderful collection of works for sale, including a large range of weavings, didjiridus, artefacts and carvings, as well as screen printed products such as t-shirts and fabrics.
The aims of the Association are to promote and preserve the indigenous art and culture of the area, with the income from sales and tours staying within the community and assisting in its development. The craftsmen produce art on bark and paper.
Injalak will happily arrange for shipment of any goods purchased directly from the shop to your home, anywhere in the world.
OPENING HOURS :
Monday to Friday : 08:00 - 16.30.
From June to October Injalak is also open on Saturday mornings from 08.30 to 14:00, however it is advisable to check first.
Closed on Sundays and some public holidays.
Injalak may close at short notice for cultural and community reasons.
A permit from the Northern Land Council (Darwin or Jabiru) is required to visit Injalak Arts. Permits are not issued for Sundays.
What to buy: I bought a wonderful piece of aboriginal art on traditional paper - there is a very large selection to choose from.
What to pay: Prices are very reasonable as you are purchasing from the artists directly.
The foyer and other public areas of the Crocodile Holiday Inn hotel has on display an extensive range of Aboriginal Arts and Crafts including locally made Didgeridoos, crafts and paintings. All looked to be at reasonable prices.
There are countless places where you can purchase Aboriginal Arts and Crafts throughout the Northern Territory and prices and quality vary.
If you are not interested in buying , but have a few minutes to spare it is worthwhile viewing the display.
What to buy: Prices vary with retailers and quality. With a Didgeridoo have the shop manager play the instrument and listen to the sound.
Photo 1 No booze!
Photo 2 Jabiru shop hours
Photo 3 I loved this restaurant sign
Photo 4 The Jabiru library.
It must be said that Jabiru seemed a strange town. In part it is there to provide services to a nearby mining project; in part to provide a shopping centre for the Aboriginal communities in the area; in part for the needs of tourists visiting the surrounding Kakadu National Park.
The township itself is not large and boasts a single supermarket, a library, restaurant and several other businesses. I’ll assume your travel time is too important to spend in the library, and the restaurant wasn’t open when we visited, so let’s focus on the supermarket. It's quite reasonably stocked with all the usual requisites if you're travelling. The key issues you should know relate to the trading hours which are limited (see second photo) and also to the fact that the supermarket is NOT permitted to sell takeaway alcohol because of related social problems in the Territory. Enjoy your soft drink!
What to buy: Food, souvenirs and soft drinks.
Main photo Craftsmen preparing materials
Photo 2 Artworks inside the Arts & Crafts Centre
Photo 3 Injalak Arts & Crafts Centre
Photo 4 Well-packed items we received in the mail
Photo 5 “Our” bark painting of Mimi spirit figures.
As you drive up, the unprepossessing concrete block building gives little indication of the treasures inside. Apart from the building itself, everything is in the very best relaxed Northern Territory style – but what you find here is a knockout!
When we wandered around to the back verandah, a group of Aboriginal craftsmen were busily preparing raw materials: grinding ochre, carving wooden blanks, and making bark ‘canvas’ for painting. Traditional Aboriginal painting was entirely on rock, but in the early 1900s when visitors wanted “take home” art, the readily available bark was used as a canvas – bark paintings were born. In more recent years, canvas and artists’ papers have become available and now are commonly used.
Then there was the gallery. Paintings in traditional and more stylised forms, with colours beaming, on the spartan building walls; others lay on shelves awaiting discovery. There were screen printings, woven items, and traditional artifacts such as spears and didjiridus. We VTers were a little like kids in a lolly shop! The helpful shop manager patiently explained, answered questions and took orders. We purchased a woven bag and a bark painting, which arrived in the mail, very well packed, when we returned home.
What to buy: As this is in Arnhem Land it is likely to remain OTBP for most people. That is unfortunate, because this has to be the best place anywhere to purchase arts and crafts in Western Arnhem Land style – in terms of quality, choice and price. The good news is that they provide a mail order service to anywhere in the world, so if you can’t get there….
What to pay: The prices are very reasonable and range from little to lots, depending on what you purchase.
Located in this cultural centre is a gallery of original art from Aboriginal artists in and around Kakadu. This is one of the few places you can find original work from local artists, and the selection is pretty outstanding. They have bark paintings, canvas, as well as the less traditional t-shirts and CDs.
What to buy: The bark paintings were of tremendous quality and were not something you can find many other places.
What to pay: $10 - $100s of dollars depending on the size and intricacy of the work.