Desart presents Art Centres Online

The event will combine film and visual art to celebrate the culture and stories of artists from the western desert. It also offers the chance to collect artworks from the central desert.

Words: Rose of Sharon Leake

Launching November 1, Desart will stage a highly anticipated virtual event of story-telling and collecting opportunities direct from the heart of Australia. Following the success of its 2020 Art Centres on Screen event, the fair will once again present a film series titled Art Centres on Screen to share the stories, culture and art of artists from the western desert. “Be taken into the art centres and onto the homelands by these story keepers and experience the diversity of storytelling and contemporary practice through a program of 14 films,” says Philip Watkins, Desart CEO.

The stellar line-up of artists onscreen include Reggie Uluru and Judy Yuka Trigger of Walkatjara Arts, in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, George Tjungurrayi and Matthew Tjapangati, of Kintore, Mantua Nangala, Yukultji and Nanyuma Napaganati of Kiwirrkura. From Irrunytju on the Ngaanyatjarra lands join traditional owners, Norma Bryant and Eva Baker as they tell the Minyma Kutjara Story, learn of the sacred Illurpa site from Tjawina Roberts and mother and daughter Rene and Maureen Nelson and their many car journeys.

“This collection of stories extends a wealth of lived experience, reflections on the creative process, cautionary tales involving cars, a large-scale collaborative work by the senior women of Kintore, and a generous sense of joy and belonging,” says Watkins. “Historically there is an eye-opening account through Noreen Parker’s eyes and the retelling of her family experience and the effects of the second bomb test in Maralinga; and the opportunity to revisit the landmark Uluru handback with Reggie Uluru.”

Following the film program, Desart’s online MarketPlace offers collectors a unique opportunity to purchase works from these artists as well as emerging and established artists from across the desert. The MarketPlace portal brings together 26 participating Art Centres, showcasing a wide range of styles and mediums including Tjanpi sculptures, ceramic pots, paintings on canvas, works on paper as well as products and merchandise. 100% of the profits from the online MarketPlace will go directly to supporting the Art Centres, artists, and their families.

Art Centres on Screen runs from 1 to 4 November, with the online Marketplace running from 5 to 8 November. Both can be accessed on the Desart website.

This article was originally published 27 October 2021.

Image: George Tjungurrayi at work in Papunya Tula’s remote studio at Kintore. Photo: Desart. Courtesy: the artist, Papunya Tula Artists and Desart.

Featured image: Dorothy Dickson at work in the Warlukurlangu Artists studio. Courtesy: the artist, Warlukurlangu Artists and Desart.

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