Lockhart River Aboriginal Art
A selection of paintings showing the styles from this Aboriginal art region - some paintings may still be available for sale, while some may have been sold.
The isolated Aboriginal community of Lockhart River on Cape York in far north Queensland has a population of around 450. The nearest city Cairns is about 800 kilometres to the south. Lockhart River, formerly an Anglican mission, was established in 1924.
In 1934, following amendments to the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897, the Queensland Government rounded up Indigenous people from throughout Cape York Peninsula and relocated them to the mission at Lockhart River. During the Second World War, Europeans were evacuated from area and the Aboriginal people were left to fend for themselves. In 1947 the mission was re-established and underwent drastic changes as diverse language groups were forced into a single community. The language groups represented are Umpila, Kuuku Ya’u and Ungkum (Angkum).
In 1971 the people were forced to move away from the traditional area of the coast, known as the ‘old site’ to the present township, located 60 kilometres to the north-west. The Lockhart River Aboriginal Council became a local government in 1987. The Lockhart River Aboriginal Community Arts and Cultural Centre opened in 1997, initially to house the lively young painters and printmakers who had formed the Lockhart River Art Gang in 1995. Many of the artists from the group have gone on to establish significant art careers, and have forged particular stylistic innovations that are associated with Aboriginal art from the Lockhart River region.
Further information is available on exhibiting artists on the following links