Marthakal Business Enterprises, trading as Elcho Island Arts, services over 200 Yolŋu artists based in the main community of Galiwin’ku, Elcho Island, and surrounding Marthakal homelands. Yolŋu art and design are direct inheritances from ancient times. For succeeding generations, the artforms and ceremonies passed on to today’s Yolŋu people express direct links to their significant creation sites and ancestors.
The art centre has earned a strong reputation for the quality of weavings, paintings, and carvings informed by these ancestral histories. Artists pride themselves on originality of design, and knowledge of traditional bush materials including natural earth pigments, used in both traditional and contemporary artforms.
Community-operated since 1992, the art centre exists primarily to support Yolŋu artists to share their culture and derive income from their art making. The art centre assists artwork production as well as the collection, promotion, and distribution of high quality Yolŋu art and design to a range of markets in Australia and overseas.
The art centre’s stable of artists include nationally and internationally profiled artists including renowned fibre artist Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr, painter Peter Datjin Bararrwanga, carver Jeremiah Bonson, husband and wife carving team David Djarrka and Wendy Galanini, and senior custodian of the Banumbirr Morning Star Pole, Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi, as well as other established and emerging artists.