Day 107. Alice Springs

It’s Sunday and a lazy day. We started with pancakes put on by the caravan park and then packing up the car and camper ready to be on the road again tomorrow. That done and by lunchtime I was a bit antsy to do something so we went to the Araluen Cultural Precinct. This complex houses museums, galleries, a craft centre and a sculptural garden.

The two parts of the Araluen Arts Centre we liked the best were the Albert Namatjira Gallery and the display of the beanies from the Alice Springs Beanie Festival. The beanie festival is held in June each year, and after the festival most of the beanies are for sale. You are able to try on any that are not already sold. This was lots of fun and there were some amazing beanies. My favourite was a knitted teacup. Patrick tried on quite a few, the first of the ones below is a telephone and the second had a similar face on the back.

107 Beanies small

The Albert Namatjira Gallery has a focus on Aboriginal art from Central Australia. There were numerous pieces by Albert Namatjira himself, and other Hermannsburg School artists as well as early Papunya works. These Papunya pieces were amazing; they are examples of the first time that indigenous artists painted on a hard surface with acrylic paint using the traditional style of body and sand ceremonial art. This happened in the early 1970s when Geoffrey Bardon, a schoolteacher at the community encouraged the children to paint a mural. The elders at the time thought it was more appropriate for adults to paint the stories and thus the western desert art style was born.

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