Longitude 131° Partners with Ernabella Arts for Ceramics Education

October 21, 2016

Longitude 131° is excited to be part of a new partnership with Ernabella Arts Inc, Australia’s oldest indigenous arts centre at the remote indigenous community at Pukatja, one of the 13 homeland communities that make up the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) Lands, which will see funding for an education program for its artists and residents as well as operational support over the next two years.

The $100,000 contribution made by Longitude 131° will go towards a dedicated ceramics technician for the arts community, who will ensure consistent supply of ceramic posts for the artists to paint and also teach students of all ages the fine art of crafting ceramics.

The new partnership between Longitude 131° and Ernabella is the latest development in an expanding, mutually-rewarding relationship that was born when Baillie Lodges first took over management of the iconic luxury campsite in late 2013.

The ongoing relationship offers Longitude 131° an invaluable connection to the region’s indigenous heritage, while at the same time offering the community new business opportunities and financial sustainability.

The ultimate aims of the new partnership are for the community to become a robust, self-sustaining business whilst also providing educational opportunities to its residents both young and old and boosting prospects here and overseas for its internationally-celebrated artists.

To date, Longitude 131° has helped the community generate around $120,000 in revenue in diverse ways, including by commissioning artworks for display in the guest tents and Dune House, as well as developing an unforgettable adventure transporting guests – by helicopter or 4WD – to the community to meet the artists and see how they work.

In 2015, a large commission of ceramics for Longitude 131 saw artists Tjimpuna Williams and Derek Jungarrayi Thompson travel to the ‘Big Pot Factory’ in Jingdezhen, China for an artists’ residency. Jingdezhen, known as ‘Porcelain City’, has a history of ceramics dating back almost 2000 years.

The project connected the two ancient creative cultures in creating contemporary artworks as well as in sharing knowledge and techniques. The Ernabella artists created more than 40 large pots during their China residency which were delivered back to Longitude 131° and to selected art galleries around Australia for exhibition and sale. One ‘tall pot’ reaching 1.8 metres in height commands a striking presence in the Dune House today.

Artists from the community have also visited Longitude 131° in a series of artists-in-residence programs this year, which offers guests at the property a rare chance to witness the artists at work and learn more about their culture and craft.

Guests at Longitude 131° and the broader community can look forward to seeing more from this talented community of artists. It’s a privilege for Longitude 131° to be working alongside the Ernabella Arts community and to see its distinctive ceramic works brimming with vibrant colour take life from the remote Australian outback.