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Exhibition Open! Tracks We Share

Submitted by author on Thu, 04/14/2022 - 13:46

“We’re in the middle. And these ones, their Country is next to us. We’re all doing the same, we’re all acting as one. One jina (footprint).”

- Muuki Taylor, translated by Heather Samson


In an impressive body of carefully curated works, Tracks We Share: Contemporary Art of the Pilbara brings together more than 70 artists and 190 artworks, and features some of the most exciting contemporary art coming out of the Pilbara region. The project, managed by arts and cultural organisation Form, in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA), brings together art centres Martumili Artists, Cheeditha Art Group, Juluwarlu Art Group, Spinifex Hill Studio, and Yinjaa-Barni Art, as well as independent artists Katie West, Jill Churnside and Curtis Taylor.

The multi-year Tracks We Share project and related exhibition was driven by a concerted will for collaboration between artists and art centres of the Pilbara, aimed toward a collective representation of the regions’ richly diverse contemporary Aboriginal art. Also motivating the project was a unified desire to express the shared histories and cultural connections of the region; covering more than 500 000 square kilometres, the Pilbara is home to an incredibly diverse range of natural landscapes, 31 traditional language groups, 15 remote Aboriginal communities, and six Aboriginal art centres. All too often, however, this nuanced community and its related physical, cultural and artistic networks of commonality are overlooked by a public conception steadfastly focused on the economic dominance of the resource sector in the area.

Through the exhibition, this oblique industrial perspective is superseded by an exploration of place animated simultaneously by geographical environments, biographical histories, and cultural  narratives. Comprised of paintings, works on paper, installation, film, animation, photographs, sculpture, and carvings, the exhibition follows a journey eastward from the coastline at Roebourne, through the towns and Pastoral leases around Port Hedland, across the plains and tablelands, and culminating in the Western Desert. It is here that Martumili Artists features most prominently, with a spectacular selection of paintings. Martumili Artists is widely recognised as the most established and renowned of the participating art centres in the Tracks We Share project, and this sophisticated body of works affirms the reputation to be well founded.

Martumili Artists’ representation in Tracks We Share provides an excellent and near comprehensive overview of the group in terms of both art practice and stylistic range. The core pujiman (desert dwelling, traditional) artists that founded the art centre in 2005 are attributed in a collection of works from Martumili’s most eminent senior artists, including Nora Nungabar (Nyangapa) (dec.), Nora Wompi (dec.), Pinyirr Nancy Patterson (dec.), Bugai Whyoulter, Jakayu Biljabu, Minyawe Miller, Muuki Taylor, and Yunkurra Billy Atkins (dec.). Equally impressive are the paintings featured alongside these works, from the young, dynamic, and emerging artists now at the helm of the group, including Corban Clause Williams, Judith Anya Samson, Marianne Burton, and Gladys Kuru Bidu. Also showcased in the exhibition are photographic works from Martumili artists Tamisha Williams and Ignatius Taylor, acclaimed for their intimate and frequently playful depictions of remote community life.

Tracks We Share is on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) between 11 March - 28 August 2022. For more information visit


Article Author
Ruth Leigh
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