Our Christmas sale is the sort of party that people are willing to drive to from Pilbara ‘nearby’ locales; Port Hedland, Karratha, Marble Bar… even Broome! That’s enough hours to get through an audio book (or two). ‘What makes our Christmas sale so good that people will road trip the distance?’, I hear you ask. Well, undoubtedly, the key factor is the art. Think pile upon pile of beautiful, unique canvases; each work painted with the passion and skill our artists are known for, and all at wholesale discount for a brief two week window. Of course there’s also the good music, company, food and celebratory mood… but it all comes back to the art.
For our artists, the sale presents a significant opportunity to help earn enough to save for something special, or to tide them over during a time when not only our art centre closes, but ranger work and services in community also wind down. Because income from art production and ranger work are one of few sources of commercial income for most of our artists, this really is a big deal. For our customers and friends, it’s an opportunity to support the creative endeavours of artists with valuable stories to tell and talent to share, from a region that is, to many, relatively inaccessible. For all, it’s also a gathering to celebrate the year that’s been.
Things have changed a lot since the first Martumili Christmas sale event, held the year after the art centre formed in 2006. At that time there was no gallery, and no online presence, and as such there were no real opportunities besides the Christmas sale for the general public to look at Martumili artwork anywhere beyond the art centre itself and at external exhibitions. Of course, this was reason enough for the event to quickly garner a cult following, but the aforementioned good music, company, food and celebratory mood certainly helped!
The event has steadily grown since then, with around 400 visitors attending this year for our two day ‘camp out’ festival. Our Friday evening event had people lined up at the door for the 5:30pm opening. Inside, swags were set up in circles around fairy light adorned camp ‘fires’, photographs and videos depicting highlights of the year were projected on walls, and Parnngurr celebrity group ‘Wild Dingo Band’ played to everyone’s great delight, as evident in the crowds’ joyous dancing. The accompanying exhibition showcased as many of our artists as possible, with works literally crammed on the walls. It was, in summary, a beautiful and heart-warming celebration, and a wonderful success for many of our artists.
For those of you that couldn’t come, we’re truly sorry. Next year is the year you’ve been waiting for! Don’t despair though- you can still be a part of the action. Our online sale continues until 12th December. We have hundreds of gorgeous artworks available, all conveniently organised into sub categories ‘large paintings’, ‘works on paper’, and ‘box canvas’. Take a look, we know you’ll find the perfect gift for someone special - that includes yourself!. As soon as you purchase a work, we’ll pack it up and get it ready to send the following day with Australia Post, so we’re pretty confident it’ll arrive in time for Christmas morning unwrapping. What are you waiting for? Make a difference with your Christmas gifts this year.