Warlayirti Artists Aboriginal Corporation - Art Collector

Bai Bai Napangardi, Senior Law Woman in Balgo, at work on her painting Mulupuku, of her country around Lake Mackay, south of Balgo. Courtesy: the artist and Warlayirti Artists Aboriginal Corporation, Western Australia

Balgo (Wirrimanu), Western Australia, on the edge of the Great Sandy and Tanami deserts, is the ceremonial hub for several Indigenous clans from the Kimberley and Western Desert, and is part of the Luurnpa Tjurkurpa (Kingfisher Dreaming) and songline.

Many of Australia's most recognised Aboriginal artists come from this region including Murityarru Sunfly Tjampitjin,Wimmitji Tjampitjin, Boxer Milner, Eubena Nampitjin, Elizabeth Nyumi, Lucy Yukenbarri and John Mosquito Tjapangati.

The art movement in Balgo began in the early 1980s and a watershed exhibition, Art from the Great Sandy Desert in 1986 at the Art Gallery of Western Australia resulted in the art from Balgo being recognised as a distinct body of work distinguished by diversity of style and bold use of colour.

Warlayirti Artists was established and named by senior men in the 1980s, naming Warlayirti as the place to hold and maintain the culture for future generations.

Warlayirti Artists represents more than 200 artists across three communities in the Kutjungka region – Kururrungku (Billiluna), Mulan, and Wirrimanu (Balgo) representing seven main language groups: Kukatja, Walmatjarri, Ngarti, Jaru, Wangkatjunga, Pintupi and Warlpiri.

An Aboriginal owned and governed corporation, Warlayirti Artists is one of Australia’s leading Indigenous art centres whose artists have a reputation for producing uniquely individual and vibrant paintings, as well as original prints on paper, photography and digital video.

As well as a spectacular gallery and painting studio, the Warlayirti art centre includes a large culture gallery, archive and new media centre as well as a professional recording studio which support the creative transmission of both Tjurkurpa and contemporary stories from the Kutjungka.

"Puntulunguya karnyilkuwa palurungkurnu culture marrka; wakarninpa, wangkinpa tjamukurnu kamu kaparlikurnu – kurralkajanu Tjukurrpa. Yungkuwa tjanampa
palurunkurnu tjiitjikutu.

Puntulungkuya culture kawarlininpa yukurilutjana watjapungin Ngurra ngaangka Wirrimanungha Warlayirtilutjana tjungarni manin mikulatju marrka nyinakuwanpa, tjungarnilatju wanalkuwan wulu culture. Mikulatju Kanyilkuwan tjiitjiku marlatjanuku."

"People want to keep their culture strong; doing painting, doing story from their grandfather, grandmother – Dreaming from long time. And they want to pass it on to their children. People are losing their culture because of gunga on this community but Warlayirti helps to keep us strong and put them on the right track again with the culture. Giving the knowledge for the young ones."

Jimmy Tchooga, Chair, Warlayirti Artists

Current artists

• Elizabeth Nyumi
• Helicopter Tjungurrayi
• Kathleen Paddoon
• Nora Wompi
• Bai Bai Napangarti
• Ningie Nanala
• Theresa Nowee
• Geraldine Nowee
• Imelda Gugaman
• Brian Mudgedell
• Patrick Smith
• Miriam Baadjo
• Jane Gimme
• Jimmy Tchooga
• Lucy Loomoo
• Sidney Moody
• Lady Gordon
• Marie Mudgedell
• Veronica Lulu
• The estate of Eubena Nampitjin

Access information

Warlayirti Artists in Balgo is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Other times and weekends are by appointment only. Tour groups should contact us in advance before visiting to ensure that visitors have the best possible experience with the art centre and artists. Permits are required for overnight stays.

Balgo community is accessible off the Tanami Track (4WD recommended): take the Balgo turn off and follow the access road (31 kilometres) to the community. Balgo is 3.5 hours from Halls Creek and 9 hours from Alice Springs.

Warlayirti Artists
PMB 20 Balgo Community
Halls Creek WA 6770


Phone:
08 9168 8960
Fax:
08 9168 8889
Email:
director@balgoart.org.au
Web:
www.balgoart.org.au