Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that the following pages may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

Ku’ to be completed by 4 August 2020

Garry Namponan

Natural Ochres on Milkwood.

50cm x 75cm


Ritual Sculpture collected from Aboriginal people in Cape York Peninsula has been recorded and collected as
far back as 1888. The most significant early collection and recording of Aurukun sculpture was by Ursula
McConnel, this collection now sits with the South Australian Museum.

The support by the Presbyterian Mission for ritual activity, such as initiations helped maintain selected elements of
the language and cultural practices of the Wik and Kugu Region.

The introduction of a sawmill supported a transition to steel tools and new carpentry techniques which aided in
the development of more complex and sophisticated sculptures of which we see today being made by the Art
Centre’s male artists.

Over the past fifteen years, the Art Centre and its artists have developed a following for its signature sculptural
the Ku’ (dog).

The Story Place of the Ku’ associated with the Apalech ceremonial group is located in the south of the Wik and
Kugu region at Eeremangk near the mouth of the Knox River.

This story links the land and the sea and is a tale of transformation where the Ku’ (Ancestral being or totem), who
had travelled from the distant Northern Territory to Cape York Peninsula, leaves the land, enters Knox River and
becomes Nyiingkuchen, the Freshwater Shark.

This story also tells how Ku’ gave language to the region. Each Dreamtime dog has its name, its colours and its
qualities of character.

The Ku’ song cycles and dances are still performed at house opening ceremonies today.



Wik and Kugu Art Centre
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Wik and Kugu Art Centre

Wik and Kugu Art Centre services artists from all five ceremonial groups in Aurukun: Wanam, Winchanam, Puch, Apalech and Sara.

Located in Far North Queensland, the Art Centre comprises a men’s art studio and workshop, a women’s art studio and a gallery space.

Visitors who can’t make it to Aurukun can call the Centre via FaceTime, Skype or Whatsapp for a personal tour through the gallery, close-up viewings of artworks and meetings with the artists. Wik and Kugu Art Centre is operated by Aurukun Shire Council. Opening hours: Mo-Fri 8AM-4PM.

More Artworks from Wik and Kugu Art Centre