WARLAYIRTI ARTISTS is a 100 percent Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre in Balgo, Western Australia. Situated at the foothills of the Kimberley, on the edge of the Tanami Desert to the east and the Great Sandy Desert to the south. Established in 1964 as a Catholic mission station, Balgo was a refuge for Aboriginal people driven off their lands, which brought together people from many different Countries and language groups. Warlayirti Artists represents three communities in the Kutjungka region: Kururrungka (Bililuna), Mulan, and Wirrimanu (Balgo) representing eight language groups: Kukatja, Walmajarri, Ngardi, Jaru, Wangkatjunga, Pintupi, Warlpiri and Ngaanyatjarra.
The art from Warlayirti Artists is charged by this cultural diversity. Iconic forms, bright palettes and densely applied paint have defined art from Warlayirti Artists over the last 30 years. Artists apply paint confidently and directly to the canvas and reflect the rich cultural traditions of their country. Most senior artists painting today grew up on the mission away from their traditional lands. The act of painting helps them to revisit their Country and pass on their Tjukurrpa (creation stories/Lore) and art practice to the next generation, keeping culture alive.
Image: Patsy Mudgedell, Bush Tucker Fusion, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm. Courtesy: Warlayirti Artists
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