“This one here is just like when you got a lot of stress and worries. Make your mind think of a lot of things. In this painting I put not bad colours, good colours to help fight those things in your mind. These two (points to white circles bottom right) maparn wantis (spiritual, magic ladies) they landed at Wantili they would put out a sort of radar so the Seven Sisters would know where to go. They spiritual ladies, like GPS they help find your way. This one (points to top right) is Seven Sisters. Over there (top left) Southern Cross, maparn girls, medicine girls. Here (bottom left) is the ngurra (home, country, camp) for wantis. When they dance around the ngurra, smooth it all out. All these create the minerals, the gold. The dotting colour Martu use these for lore.”
The activity of painting creates a safe space and gives opportunity for artists to gather and connect to each other, culture and Country. Through the practice of painting artists can recognise the value of their culture and take pride in what it represents creating happiness within, pukurlpa. This exhibition is a celebration of the practice of making art to feel happy inside.
Martumili Gallery, Newman WA
27 April – 27 June 2021
Digital catalogue coming soon
What Now? is a group exhibition of emerging talent from Martumili Artists, scheduled to open in October, 2020. The exhibition will present a survey of bold new works from the next generation of Martu- artists informed by Country, empowered by culture and inspired by their predecessors. The exhibition will be an opportunity to celebrate the dynamic paintings and photography currently being produced by emerging artists across the remote East Pilbara.
Featuring Biddy Bunawarrie, Marianne Burton, Derrick Butt, Doreen Chapman, Judith Anya Samson, Helen Dale Samson, Debra Thomas, Cyril Whyoulter, Corban Clause Williams, Tamisha Williams and other artists from across the Martu Western Desert communities.
The Goods Shed, Claremont WA
7 October – 10 December
The 16 new artworks in Living Water showcase both senior and emerging artists and pay homage to the significance of water to the peoples of Martu Country. During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) period, knowledge of water sources was fundamental for survival and Martu Country is still defined by its water sources today. But while there are many permanent springs only some are ‘living waters’; natural sources protected by powerful ancestral beings known as jila, who take the form of snakes.
Aboriginal Contemporary, Waverley NSW
24 October – Open
“It’s their home for them, real ngurra (home Country, camp). Real ngurra is where they been born and grow up.”
- Corban Clause Williams
The Western Desert term ‘ngurra’ is hugely versatile in application. Broadly denoting birthplace and belonging, ngurra can refer to a body of water, a camp site, a large area of Country, or even a modern house. People identify with their ngurra in terms of specific rights and responsibilities, and the possession of intimate knowledge of the physical and cultural properties of one’s Country. This knowledge is traditionally passed intergenerationally through family connections. Country for Martu is full of memory; not just the memory of their own movement through it, but also of their family. As summarised by Ngalangka Nola Taylor, “painting the ngurra, they do it to remember their connections.”
Martumili Gallery, Newman WA
18 September – 14 November
Featuring hundreds of new works by emerging and established artists, this year’s exhibition promises to be a dynamic interplay of traditional and contemporary works reflecting multiple artist’ cultural voices.
The exhibition presents paintings, sculpture, weaving, wood carving, prints, photography and works on paper.
Online sales will begin at 9am on Friday 11 September, or if you’re in Alice Springs you can book in a free ticketed public viewing from 1 – 8pm. The exhibition will continue until Sunday 25th October at Araluen Arts Centre and is open from 10am – 4pm daily.
Featuring Martumili Artists – Marianne Burton | May Chapman | Corban Clause Williams | Judith Anya Samson | Muuki Taylor | Wokka Taylor | Bugai Whyoulter
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT
11 September – 25 October
Recognized for their diverse, energetic and unmediated painting styles, their works reflect the dramatic geography and scale of their homelands. The group proudly maintain their creative practices whilst pursuing social and cultural obligations across the Martu homelands. Martu elders formed their art centre and named it Martumili (Belonging to Martu).
Featuring Martumili Artists – Bugai Whyoulter | Biddy Bunawarrie | Corban Clause Williams | Cyril Whyoulter | Jakayu Bilajabu | Kumpaya Girgirba | Ngamaru Bidy
Harvey Art Projects, Ketchum ID 83340 USA
10 September - 15 October 2020
This exhibition features video and photographic works from the Art Gallery WA State Art Collection of seven Australian contemporary artists. Their works will be interwoven with complimentary Martumili Artists pieces; asking the question ‘How Did I get Here?’ and inviting you to contemplate how your relationships and environments define your sense of self.
Featuring Martumili Artists – Shirley Nuria Jadai | Alysha Taylor | Richard Chilli Mandijalu | Ignatius Paul Taylor | Janita Angie | Judith Anya Samson | Tamisha Williams | Montana Williams Clause
Martumili Artist Gallery, Newman WA
4 July - 9 August 2020
Virtual tour from the 13 July
Click here to view the virtual tour
The Revealed 2020 exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre is set to be the biggest yet, bringing together 25 remote and regional Aboriginal art centers and independent Aboriginal artists together to showcase their works. Although the doors to Fremantle Arts Centre are currently closed this year, they have worked to bring audiences the Revealed Exhibition through a comprehensive online catalogue.
Featuring Martumili Artists - Derrick Butt | Lorna Linmurra | Helen Samson | Desmond Taylor | Tamisha Williams
Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle WA
22 April - 24 May 2020
‘I unrolled the works, spread them on the gallery floor and I was, as if by magic, back in Martumili three weeks earlier. Art does this, sorry, great art does this; it transcends time. It melts the current setting, emotion or situation, an ability only mimicked by music performance. So there I was, swimming in a sea of colour and culture, oblivious to the world outside’ – Paul Johnstone
After his first, very welcoming visit to the Martumili Artists gallery and studio in Newman, Paul Johnstone returned home to Darwin and awaited the selected artwork to arrive for this very exhibition. Within that small time frame of three weeks the world had changed quite dramatically, especially for the indigenous arts sphere. Now, is yet another time for Martumili community and its artist to illustrate its strengths in all of its forms.
Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT.
2 April to 2 May 2020
Artitja Fine Art Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by established and emerging artists. Including artwork from Martumili Artists, Bugai Whyoulter, Dadda Samson, Derek Butt and Cyril Whyoulter. This show emphasises the artist intimate understanding of their country and connection to home.
Artitja Fine Gallery, South Fremantle, WA.
March - April 2020
Curated by gallery owner Paul Johnstone with his acknowledgement of the absence of women in historical narrative and how it has left a skewed perception of history. The is a group exhibition includes artists from Papunya Tula Artists, Warmun Art Centre, Kaltjiti Arts, Warlayirti Artists and Martumili Artists and creates a space for Australian women from remote communities to share their history.
Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT.
6th March - 28th March 2020
Martumili Artists and Bertrand Estrangin present 40 artworks from the senior and emerging talents of the art centre. Curated following gallerist Bertrand's visit to Martu Country, this selection of work demonstrates the deep knowledge of Country that Martu are communicating to younger generations, and with the wider global community, through their art-making.
Signature Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
15th January - 15th February 2
Frewen Arts presents: Largescale Canvases from Award-winning Australian Western Desert Artists
Featuring:Wangkatjungka artists collaborative works;2019 NATSIAA finalists Bugai Whyoulter and Yurnangurnu Nola Campbell; Multi–award winner Wakartu Cory Surprise (deceased); Senior Martu artists Nyanjilpayi Nancy Chapman and Kumpaya Girgirba;
Warakurna artists Maureen Baker, Cynthia Burke and Dorcas Bennett.
Dellaspora Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
13th November - 7th December.
Curated by Gallery owner Nichola during a recent visit, this group exhibition pays homage not only to Martumili’s senior and emerging artists, but also to the vast beauty of Martu Country – from Jigalong in the West to Kunawarritji in the East.
Aboriginal Contemporary, Bronte, NSW.
24 October – 3 November 2019
A vibrant and fun exhibition at Yaama Gaanu Gallery in Moree, NSW, featuring works created during the 2019 Martumili Wangka (artist meeting) held in Punmu community. Gallery curator Toby travelled to Punmu to join 50 artists and staff in Punmu for wangka (talk), painting and planning.
Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree, NSW
Martu children attend school in the remote communities of Punmu, Parnngurr, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong. This exhibition recognises the Kuulkaja as being at the heart of each community, and celebrates the important role they play in keeping culture, Country and language strong.
Martumili Gallery, Newman, WA.
July - October 2019
Martu artists paint Country in all it’s different seasonal stages. Important to Martu, and to Martu Country, is the practice of waru (fire burning); a practice that assists with hunting, regenerates growth, and encourages greater diversity in plant and animal life. When Martu Country burns, mosaic fire scars are left on the Country, and patches of regeneration form a pattern across the land. This is called nyurnma - burnt Country.
Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT.
Bugai Whyoulter is an internationally acclaimed pujiman (desert-born) artist, from Kunawarritji (Well 33). In association with Martumili Artists, FORM presents Bugai, a solo exhibition of significant recent and historical works showing why Bugai’s artwork continues to resonate across cultures, generations and borders.
The Goods Shed, Claremont, WA
July - September 2019
Pujiman, which means bush or desert born and dwelling, is the creative culmination of a two year collaboration between Martumili Artists (Newman) and FORM’s Spinifex Hill Artists (Port Hedland). The art centres, both located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, united to bring the last pujiman generation together with younger artists to share knowledge of culture and Country. The exhibition includes major collaborative paintings, as well as exciting new works in mediums of animation, film and drawing; all reflecting on the rich experiences shared in the project.
The Pujiman exhibition is currently touring Western Australia with ART ON THE MOVE.
Click here for more information.