Marrawuddi Arts, owned and operated by Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Mirarr Traditional Owners, opened today at beautifully refurbished premises in the heart of Jabiru. An exciting occasion in itself, today also signifies a new chapter in the Mirarr-led transition of the town of Jabiru.
Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula invited guests to today’s opening event with these words:“Join Mirarr to celebrate the beginning of this new chapter in Jabiru: for community, country and culture.”
Mirarr Traditional Owner Simon Mudjandi said: “Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter for Jabiru and Kakadu. With the opening of this beautiful new Marrawuddi Arts Centre, Jabiru’s transition from mining town to an Aboriginal owned community centre and tourism hub really begins.”
Previously located at the now closed Bowali Visitors Centre (at Kakadu National Park headquarters), Marrawuddi has been a popular destination for tourists and locals looking to find a beautiful souvenir or gift for many years.
In recent times, nurtured by the clear vision and strong commitment of Mirarr and the gallery management team, Marrawuddi has evolved to become a community arts centre working closely with local artists. In September 2019, Marrawuddi coordinated local and interstate artists to paint a stunning mural on the external walls of the old bakery building in anticipation of the move. This visual transformation signals the change that is coming for Jabiru once a formal township lease commences in 2021.
“Marrawuddi Arts is a truly exciting next step for us,” said Marrawuddi Manager Katie Hagebols. “We have been working closely with artists from across the region to develop their arts practice for some time. The bigger spaces at this new site will mean we can offer welcoming areas for artists to work as well as a larger retail area and more central location for tourists to find us.”
“With our new café and LaMarzocco espresso machine we’re also offering Kakadu’s best coffee. Visitors and locals alike should come and have a great coffee and spend some time admiring the marvellous West Arnhem art available at the gallery,” Ms Hagebols said.