Ernabella Arts Inc.
is Australia’s oldest Indigenous art centre.
It has been operating continuously since 1948.
For the first twenty eight years artists worked almost exclusively with wool, spinning and weaving it, and making hand-pulled floor rugs incorporating their own unique walka (designs).
The art centre logo shows the traditional wooden spindle, used by the people for millennia, before European contact, and still used today when adapting their skills for Western mediums and production items such as the highly prized Ernabella mukata (beanies).
Painting begun at the outset, chiefly on art paper, then in the late 1960s the artists were introduced to batik as a fabric decoration technique.
Batik quickly became a signature art form for Ernabella.
Painting styles went through radical developments from 2002 and Ernabella painting now encompasses subjects drawn from Tjukurpa (the eternal Creation stories); mai putitja (bush food stories) and elements of the early and unique anapalyaku walka (Ernabella style).
In 2003 a ceramic studio was established at the centre.
Batik (lost wax) technique was then translated to the new medium and used to decorate a range of ceramic pieces.
Limited edition prints on paper are another increasingly important art form.
Ernabella fine art is in all the Australian state and national collections, and in many overseas private and public collections including Edinburgh City Gallery, the British Museum and Australia House, London..