PROJECT: Buka Art Center
Yirrkala, Northern Territories

The Yirrkala Church Panels

Buka Art Center
Yirrkala, Northern Territories
European Museum Technology

The two paintings, each twelve feet tall and four feet wide, were painted using natural ochres on two Masonite panels in 1962-63 and were initially installed as part of a screen behind the communion table in the Methodist church at Yirrkala.

The painting of the church panels grew out of the early threats to Yolngu sovereignty in the Yirrkala area by discovering bauxite and the proposed mining operation that was to be and eventually was undertaken there.

Given the importance of the Yirrkala Church Panels concerning the aboriginal heritage and culture, the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre required two showcases to protect the two aboriginal art pieces for future generations.

The two oversized panels would need to protect the integrity of the painting from natural environmental events such as hurricanes, storms and humidity while providing an optimal viewing environment for visitors to the art center.

The team at EMT designed and fabricated the two oversized museum showcases in their Melbourne facilities. They constructed the units using the highest grade steel, architectural glass and low-profile hinges to maximize the viewing experience.

After fabrication and rigorous testing, The team transported the units to Northern Territories for final installation.