Desert Mob returns for 31st celebration of Aboriginal art and culture

In the month of September, Desart brings together hundreds of Indigenous artists and artworks in vibrant program.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

This September, Desert Mob returns to Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and online for its 31st edition, bringing together the best of Aboriginal art and culture from across the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia.

In 2022, the expansive program features 228 artists and 234 works from 32 art centres celebrating the bold and exciting expression of Aboriginal desert art and culture.

Kicking off the events and running from 1-7 September, the online film festival Art Centres on Screen presents a series of short films, telling stories direct form the desert. Artists share their personal histories, lived experiences, and creative practices, providing a glimpse into the diversity of Aboriginal storytelling and contemporary artistic practice.

From 8 September, the Desert Mob Exhibition, curated by Hetti Perkins and Marisa Maher will present hundreds of new artworks from emerging and established artists. The works will also be available to purchase online from 10am on 9 September for those unable to visit the exhibition in person. On 9 September, there will also be artist and curator talks in the galleries speaking to Desert Mob stories, culture, and artistic processes.

On 10 September, the MarketPlace takes place in Mparntwe. The large, affordable buzzing art market presents the opportunity to acquire works spanning painting, punu (woodcarvings), ceramics, Tjanpi weaving, sculpture, clothing, jewellery, textiles, and homewares from Aboriginal-owned art centres across Central Australia.

Running alongside the MarketPlace is an engaging Public Program offering visitors a space to chat with the artists and learn about Aboriginal culture through demonstrations, performances, and workshops.

Buying work at the Desert Mob Exhibition and Marketplace ensures the ethical purchasing of art with all income going to art centres.

To find out more about Desert Mob 2022, visit: https://desart.com.au/desert-mob/

This article was posted 5 September 2022.

Image: Beverley Rogers on Country. Image courtesy: Martumili Artists.

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