The Art of Exploration, Orion’s Kimberley 2013

December 29, 2012 on 3:01 pm | In Adventure Travel, Australia, Cruise Boats, Western | Comments Off



Orion Expedition Cruises, in conjunction with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, has created a one-off Art of Exploration expedition unveiling the ancient and modern indigenous art styles of the Kimberley region of north Western Australia. This region is one of the world’s great art galleries, where Aboriginal people have painted for many thousands of years, leaving rich imaginative records of their spiritual identity.

During the voyage there will be plenty of time ashore to meet and talk with local artists, view and purchase original artworks and visit important galleries – the experience enhanced by Orion’s own expedition team and specialist guest lecturers’ insightful briefings and workshops.

Some 65,000 years ago, our ancestors crossed from Timor and New Guinea into Australia, prolifically recording their experiences, animals encountered and their spirit world by painting onto the already-ancient rocks of the Kimberley.

Joseph Bradshaw was the first European person to record the mysterious Gwion Gwion rock images, believed to be at least 17,000 yrs old, more than five times the age of the pharaohs. Gwion Gwion art may perhaps be over 50,000 years of age. If this is the case, exampled at Vansittart Bay where Orion’s guests will view an extraordinary rock art gallery, the images may well be the oldest known to man.

Representing relatively recent times, another rarely visited indigenous art site, Bigge Island, features ‘first-contact’ artworks. Wandjina figures abound, painted by the Wunambal people, as well as images of sailing ships and figures smoking pipes representing seafaring European visitors in the 19th century.

Picture yourself at Raft Point climbing to a spectacular outdoor Aboriginal art gallery featuring the mythical Wandjina clan on the ‘Great Fish Chase’. Here there are haunting images of the Wandjina spirits with their distinctive haloes and depictions of dugong, crocodiles, fish and snakes.

The voyage will provide a unique opportunity to access the range of contemporary Aboriginal art from the region. Wyndham provides the location for specially hosted visits to the nearby art centres of Warmun and Waringarri. These are priceless experiences that will stay with you for life.

At the journey’s conclusion in Broome (with its colourful history stemming from its early pearling days when over 400 luggers plied the coast), a further program of events will be offered bringing together artists and artworks from the surrounding communities.

Departing Darwin on 16th August, 2013, this 10 night voyage concludes in Broome.

Guest lecturers on the Orion Art of Exploration voyage include:
Jonathan Jones Curator from the Art Gallery of NSW
Howard Morphy Director of the Research School of
Humanities, Australian National University
Frances Morphy Linguistic Anthropologist and
Research Fellow, Australian National University
Chad Creighton A Bardi & Nyull Nyull man from Broome

Note: Lecturers subject to change.

Fares Guide:

Fares begin from A$9,375 per person for an ocean view Category B stateroom
Suites begin from A$10,990 per person for a Junior Suite
Owners’ Suites with French Balcony are A$14,365 per person

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world’s latest and Australia’s only purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orionexpeditions.com

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