Friday, August 22, 2008

If you never ever go, you’ll never ever know!

So that slogan endorsed by none other than Darryl Somers is well past it’s used by date but it still rings true. On a recent trip we discovered the rare beauty and deep rooted culture of the Northern Territory. Here are a few highlights...

Ubirr at sunset is a sight to behold. Located in the East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park, it is famous for its rock art. The panoramic views are breathtaking, not to mention the exquisite art which in some places is a mind blowing 40 000yrs old… hard to comprehend.

Injalak Arts + Craft Centre at Oenpelli aims to promote and preserve the indigenous art and culture of Western Arnhem Land. Located at Gunbalanya, a small Aboriginal township the centre was opened in 1989. As a non-profit enterprise any income stays within the community and assists in its development. It is managed by an incorporated Association whose members are the artists and community. The Associations major emphasis is on cultural maintenance and economic self-determination. Such a fantastic initiative and with no doubt the best place to purchase bark paintings and woven pandanas baskets – it is chock a block full of beautiful artwork.

Architecture viewing is always a part of the itinerary and the Bowali Visitor’s Centre didn’t disappoint! If you can believe it the gutters were one of the outstanding features… Designed by Glenn Murcutt and Troppo Architects this building is a long 168m. In true Troppo style the building offers a close relationship with the bush setting through its wide verandahs, rammed earth walls, ironwood floors and natural stone features. The roof line and east west orientation encourage airflow – in temperatures of +30degree heat and 90% humidity it is amazing you feel comfortable under its eaves.

What is so important is that they worked very closely with the traditional land owners. Local contractors were employed and local Aboriginal associations sourced all the materials including the extensive display items that you can explore and learn of the country and its people. It is so pleasing to witness the results of a building which has originated from a community consultation process - and it is a success!

1 comment:

Dima Arbid said...

I would like to know where I can get similar plans of Bowali visitor's center with a better resolution. I would greatly appreciate if u could tell me the source of the picture of the plan you posted!