These dogs are made in Aurukun on the west side of Cape York, a project initiated some years ago that has created huge interest with collectors.
In almost all Aboriginal communities throughout Australia, dogs dominate the landscape. They roam the streets in packs and intimidate passers-by and lie in the shade, seeing respite from the midday heat; in the evening, they seek out an ‘owner’ to feed them leftovers from the day’s meal. Collectively they are known as ‘camp dogs’ and in the case of Aurukun, have the name ‘Ku’.
As opposed to law poles and other culturally important sculpture, which are associated with specific clan knowledge, camp dogs generally belong to everyone, enabling members of all groups to collaborate and share an artistic subject.