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Past Exhibitions

  • Desert Studios

    Martumili Artists paint from 7 different places, Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji, Parnpajinya (Newman) and Warralong.

    These towns and desert communities are now home for many Martu, many of whom maintained an entirely independent, nomadic desert lifestyle up until the late 1960s. Paintings tell stories of country traversed, special meeting places, waterholes and are an integral part of the passing of knowledge from those pujiman (traditional) days. 

    Even now, life shifts like desert sands, people continuously moving between places as work, family and other commitments require. For Martumili Artists, there is always a place to stop for a while, have a cup of tea, paint, share stories and spend time learning from each other. It’s not unusual for an elder to be quietly singing in language as they paint and there is always a jarntu (dog) or two around. Canvas is primed, paints are mixed - the ‘art shed’ is so much more than the name implies – it is a bustling, lively, working studio.

    Martumili Artist Gallery, Newman WA

    1 October – 30 December 2021

    Digital catalogue


    ‘MARLPA’ is the Martu word for companionship or company, so for two people who are good friends, who spend much time together, often painting together it seemed like a fitting name for their first joint exhibition. 

    Aboriginal Contemporary and Martumili Artists are proud and privileged to bring you Corban Clause Williams and Judith Anya Samson who are destined to shape the future of Western Desert Art.

    Aboriginal Contemporary, Sydney NSW

    17 September 2021

    Digital catalogue


    The Junction Co. warmly welcomes the Martumili Mob for a special Courthouse Gallery+Studio exhibition – showcasing a fun and diverse group show by emerging and established Martumili Artists. All are invited to celebrate the contemporary identity of the artist group, and the unique environments the Martu artists work in. For Martu, art making is about so much more than paintings – the art centre is a space of community connection, story-telling, cultural celebration, and communal joy. This exhibition offers the Port Hedland community a chance to be get to know the incredible people and experiences that make Martumili so special.

    This vibrant exhibition captures the energy that Martumili Artists have for creating and presenting their work and illustrates the Martu Peoples’ commitment to sharing the importance of Country and keeping culture alive.

    Martumili Mob features artwork by Attaya Angie, Gladys Kuru Bidu, Biddy Bunawarrie, Marianne Burton, Derrick Butt, Nancy Nyanjilpayi (Ngarnjapayi) Chapman, Amy French, Kumpaya Girgirba, Lily Jatarr Long, Roxanne Newberry, Mary Rowlands, Judith Anya Samson, Desmond Taylor, Curtis Taylor, Muuki Taylor, Debra Thomas, Bugai Whyoulter, Cyril Whyoulter, Corban Clause Williams and Pauline Williams.

    Court House Gallery, Port Hedland WA

    6 August – 30 September 2021

    Digital catalogue

  • Paper Wangka (Paper Story)

    As part of the NAIDOC celebrations, Martumili Artists present, Paper Wangka (Paper Story)

    Curated by Corban Clause Williams, Sylvia Wilson, and Robina Clause
    An exhibition showcasing never seen before works on paper from established and emerging Martumili Artists.  Corban, Sylvia and Robina worked round the clock with PAM (Proffessional Arts Management) to curate and install this very special exhibition, unearthing treasures from the Martumili archives.

    Martumili Artist Gallery, Newman WA

    8 May – 28 May 2021

    Digital catalogue

  • JIRLPIPARAKU (A few old men)

    Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Wokka Taylor and Muuki Taylor were born and raised at Kulyakartu, Kuljali and Kumpupirntily in the East Pilbara region of WA. Yunkurra is the caretaker and custodian of Kumpupirntily while Muuki and Wokka are the protectors of Kulyakartu. This inherited duty is an enormous responsibility as the areas hold immense cultural importance. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, they revisited their country and painted a series of works invigorating their cultural connection. This is their story.

    Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin NT 

    8 May – 28 May 2021

    Digital catalogue 

  • PUKURLPA (happy inside)

    “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.”

    • Heather Samson 

    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 


    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

    Click here to view 


    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

    Click here to view 


    “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

    Click here to view 

  • DESERT MOB 2020

    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

    Click here to view 


    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

    Click here to view 

  • How Did I Get Here?

    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

    Click here to view the exhibition 


    ‘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 

    Click here to view the exhibition.


    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 

    Click here to view the exhibition.


    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 

    Click here to view the exhibition.

  • Kujunka: Old & Young Together

    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

    Click here to view the exhibition.

  • Contemporary Desert Art

    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.

    Click here to view exhibition.


    In Cahoots celebrates the unique and energised artistic works that emerge when artists collaborate across cultures and Country. This exhibition was the result of six residencies with remote and regional Aboriginal Arts Centres, undertaken by independent Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists from across Australia.

    In Cahoots is a touring exhibition from Fremantle Art Centre.

    Martumili Gallery, Newman, WA.

    October 4th - November 22nd

    Click here for more information.


    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

    Click here to view the exhibition.


    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

    Click here to view exhibition.



    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

    Click here to view the exhibition.

  • Nyurnma (burnt Country)

    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.

    July 2019

    Click here to view the exhibition


    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

    Click here to view exhibition



    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.


    In his first solo exhibition, emerging artist Corban depicts his grandfather's Country of Kaalpa (Well 23 on the Canning Stock Route). Representing the new generation of Martumili Artists, Corban showcases a practice informed by tradition, yet imbued with his own unique contemporary vision of Country.

    Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland (WA)

    17th May - 22nd June

    Click here to view the exhibition




    Martu wangka is the language spoken by Martu people across the East Pilbara, Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts. The language combines elements of Manyjiljarra, Kartujarra, Warnman and Nyiyaparli. Martu artists share culture and language by storytelling through their paintings, and are keeping the language strong.

    Martumili Gallery, Newman, WA

    March - July 2019

    Click here to view exhibition



    Vivien Anderson Gallery, St Kilda, VIC

    18 April – 12 May 2018


    Click here to view exhibition


    Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland, WA

    16 February – March 2018


    Martumili Gallery, Newman, WA

    25 May – 21  July 2018


    The Goods Shed, Claremont, WA

    23 August – 27 September 2018


    Click here to view exhibition


    National Museum of Australia, Canberra , ACT

    15 September 2017 - 28 February 2018


    Click here to view exhibition



    Aboriginal Contemporary, Bronte, NSW

    4 July – 18 July 2018


    Click here to view exhibition


    Grand Old Men is an exhibition that pays homage to some of the great men of Indigenous art. Culturally, these men exemplify strength and honour, artistically they present powerful renditions of ancestral narratives. They are role models to generations while their artworks are coveted by collectors and Institutions.

    Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT

    9 March - 30 March 2019


    Click here to view exhibition


    Wantili is a collaborative exhibition by Bugai and Cyril Whyoulter

    Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT

    1 September - 13 October 2018

    Click here to view exhibition

  • DESERT MOB 2018

    Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT


    Click here to view exhibition


    Constellation is an exhibition that brings together a collection of outstanding artists from a diversity of regions.

    Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT  

    18 March - 1 April 2017


    Click here to view exhibition