Boomerang Art was established in 1996 by Werner and Elena Obermeier as a family business and since has developed a strong working relationship with its indigenous artists.
Our artists from Utopia 300 km north of Alice Springs worked with us on and off since the establishment of Boomerang Art in 1996. In part and as a continuation of our efforts to assist selected young and upcoming artists from this area we have recently completed the development of our new artist studio on the Gold Coast. Our objective was to create a place where our Aboriginal artists when travelling to the Gold Coast get support, are provided with the best materials available as well as the opportunity to paint during short workshops in a pleasant, comfortable and relaxed studio environment.
There is no government funded art centre in Utopia and artists from this area rely on commercial galleries in Alice Springs and interstate for support. We provide this support and give our artists a choice where to paint and stay and customers can buy their art from us at very affordable prices.
Why Aboriginal Art
Coming to Australia as a Migrant in 1980 I found it exciting to learn about the culture of our new home country and it appeared to me that indigenous Art plays an important part in this. Having bought many original Aboriginal paintings over the years and with some artists regularly knocking on my door, I registered Boomerang Art in 1996 as a business.
We visited many Museums and Aboriginal Art exhibitions overseas and in Australia and our goal became clearer over the years. Soon after my retirement in 1998 we established an Artist Studio in Alice Springs in addition to our gallery in Adelaide that opened in 1996.
It was an exciting time. Kathleen Petyarre painted for us in Adelaide, Gloria Petyarre was a regular visitor in my Alice Springs gallery and I travelled almost every month to Utopia to visit Lindsay Bird and many other artists supplying materials and picking up completed paintings some weeks later.
The most pleasant working and business relationship developed with Barbara Weir, a famous Indigenous artist who traveled the world. She painted many paintings for us and with her help we were able to secure a large collection of paintings by Minnie Pwerle (her mother) as well. When Minnie died, Barbara brought her Aunties to my Studio and the three ladies in their eighties and early nineties had a lot of fun painting in my place. One morning in the Alice Springs winter with temperatures of around minus 2 degrees Barbara called when it was still dark and I was sleeping at about 5 a.m. She said “Sorry to wake you up but they said they want to go to the old man”. They meant me. So I put the heater on and the kettle for tea and some 20 minutes later the ladies arrived.
Barbara looked after the commercial site of the arrangements and worked with lots of energy. I believe there is not one Aboriginal family who was looked after with more love and care than Barbara’s. She always said, I don’t care about you Gallery owners, I look after my family. A point not missed by many Aboriginal Art Dealers who tried to take advantage of in particular elderly artists.