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Art festivals in the Northern Territory

Art festivals in the Northern Territory

The Top End is a hub of arts and culture unlike anything else in the country. Throughout the year, the Northern Territory hosts a variety of festivals that celebrate traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, music and dance, and promote up-and-coming Aboriginal artists. So head up north and experience some truly awe-inspiring art from the world’s oldest continuous culture.

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Territory in June, then you can’t go past the Barunga Festival. This annual three-day festival features the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians from some of the most remote regions in the state.

Visit Arnhem Land in August for Garma, an annual forum that explores the issues currently facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and seeks to preserve their traditional cultural practices. Hosted by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Garma boasts a number of live performances, an art gallery, a series of workshops and a film festival to top it all off.

Head to Darwin from 9–11 August for the 13th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, which features a market hall with stalls from the best Aboriginal artists in the state. The 2019 program also features talks, demonstrations, workshops and even a workshop just for the kids!

The Desert Mob art symposium celebrates contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performances through panel discussions, film and theatrical performances. The event culminates in a fantastic exhibition that brings together both traditional and contemporary artists from many different artistic disciplines. 

The Darwin Festival showcases the crème de la crème of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion designers in the annual From Country to Couture fashion show. This event not only celebrates the work of local and interstate fashion designers, but also the spirit of collaboration, as the local Mangkaja Arts collaborates with iconic Australian brand Gorman to create a stellar collection.

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Image (C) Tourism NT/Felix Baker

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