Kimberley

Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency Aboriginal Corporation

Address: 8 Bell Rd, Fitzroy Crossing WA 6765, Australia

Originating as an arm of Karrayili Adult Education Centre, Mangkaja Arts was founded in 1981 for local inhabitants who were interested in learning the English language. The initiative, which had at its vanguard the local men of the area, afforded a place for people to study and paint their personal stories, bush trips and histories. The artists started selling their works from a structure set precipitously near the highway, on the main road past the town. These artists had at their disposal very few resources, and travellers bargained face-to-face with the producers of the works. A modest concrete and tin structure, the building boasted no windows, and was constructed with an almost insignificant capital grant from the Australia Council for the Arts. “5O cent house”, as the building is also called – due to its 5O-cent-coin-shaped outline – has long become a residence to an extensive range of art and craft.