Koori Mail: Arts hub is first for Mirarr-led Jabiru
30th June 2020
When the Kadadu Bakery building became vacant earlier this year, Mirrar traditional owners decided it would be a perfect venue for a new arts centre.
The Marrawuddi Gallery, owned and managed by Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Mirarr traditional owners, will relocate in September. The Mirarr have envisioned Jabiru as the main arts hub for all visitors entering Kakadu. Marrawuddi is the first business to move into new premises as part of the post-mining transition of the town of Jabiru.
In August 2019, the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments, and mining company Energy Resources Australia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation as part of the post-mining transition of the town of Jabiru.
Marrawuddi manager Katie Hagebols said the team has been working closely with artists from the region to develop their art space for quite some time, coordinating local and interstate artists to paint a stunning mural on the external walls of the old bakery building.
“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,” Ms Hagebols said. “When the bakery became vacant we knew it was the perfect location for Marrawuddi Arts."
The previous gallery at Bowali Visitors Centre (Kakadu National Park headquarters) has been a popular destination for tourists and locals looking to find a local souvenir or gift for many years.
But the visual transformation like that of the old Jabiru Bakery into an internationally recognised arts precinct signals the change that is coming for Jabiru once a formal township lease commences in early 2021.
“Marrawuddi Arts is the first cab off the rank as the Jabiru region transitions to a Mirarr-led post- mining future,” Ms Hagebols said.
“This vibrant Aboriginal-controlled arts centre embodies so much of the future direction of Jabiru and will be a hub for locals and tourists alike.”