Story-telling direct from the desert
Over 2020 and 2021, Desart travelled across the regions to member art centres to record and capture art centres’ achievements, developments and contemporary practices through film.
Speaking from Country, artists share the stories of their work, culture and communities. Over a program of 14 short films, we take you into the art centres and onto the homelands of these story keepers to experience the diversity of storytelling and artistic practices.
This collection of stories extends a wealth of lived experience, reflections on the creative process, cautionary tales involving cars, a large-scale collaborative work by the senior women of Kintore, and a generous sense of joy and belonging. Historically there is an eye-opening account through Noreen Parker’s eyes and the retelling of her family experience and the effects of the second bomb test in Maralinga; a revisiting of the landmark Uluru handback with Reggie Uluru.
Grace Robinya, Olden Times. Cowboy Stories, Tangentyere Artists
Grace Robinya remembers the old days – station life. Cowboys herded cattle whilst women tended to the domestic.
Doris Thomas Old Days, New Days, Tangentyere Artists
Doris Thomas reflects on personal memories, exploring shifts between the past and present.
Betty Conway After Rain, Tangentyere Artists
Betty Conway shares her joyful memories of life on Country after it rains.
Old Laddie, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists
“Old Laddie taught me everything about the bush. I never got tired walking around with her in the bush”, so tells Trudy Inkamala in this beautiful little film about her grandmother Old Laddie.
Russell Bryant, Minyma Kutjara Arts Project
This animation by Russell Bryant warns of the perils of outback driving.
Cornelius Ebatarinja, We learn, You Learn Desart Art Worker Program
Art worker Cornelius shares his important art centre jobs supporting artists and manager, caring for artworks and the art centre and taking up opportunities to learn new skills with the Desart Art Worker Program.
Gloria Moketarinja Important Art Centre Work, Desart Art Worker Program
Gloria Moketarinja shares her important work, supporting artists and manager, caring for artworks and the art centre and taking up opportunities to learn new skills with the Desart Art Worker Program.
George Tjungarrayi joined Papunya Tula Artists in April 1976. He is a senior Pintupi lawman. His fine line work using a minimalist palette (Lives of Papunya Tula by Vivien Johnson) is highly sought after. George Tjungarrayi lives in Kintore working out of the Papunya Tula studio there.
Matthew Tjapangati is an artist with Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, whose work is highly sought after. A Traditional Owner, he works and lives in Kintore, in the Northern Territory and is passionate about young people learning and holding culture.
Nanyuma Napangati, Mantua Nangala and Yukultji Napangati
Three extraordinary and highly renowned artists painting from the Papunya Tula Artists studio in the remote Western Australian community of Kiwirrkura. Join Nanyuma Napangati, Mantua Nangala and Yukultji Napangati as they discuss their work, and their traditional country.
Kintore Women’s Collaborative Work
In the warmth of a winter painting studio in the Northern Territory desert community of Kintore, a group of senior women artists, with Papunya Tula Artists, created a beautiful collaborative work that represents the dreaming stories and songs of their mothers and grandmothers.
Norma Bryant and Eva Baker
Minyma Kutjara Arts is located in Irrunytju (Wingellina) in Western Australia. Artists Norma Bryant and Eva Baker are Traditional Owners and custodians of the Minyma Kutjara story (The Two Women Story). This story has been handed down to them by their aunty, Mrs. Cooper. The Minyma Kutjara Story is one of the most important creation and women’s business stories.
Tjawina Roberts is one of the founding members of what was then called Irrunytju Arts and is now a senior artist with the Minyma Kutjara Arts Project. Her paintings draw on ancient tjukurpa as well as contemporary stories.
Rene and Maureen Nelson
Mother Rene and daughter Maureen are both passionate artists working at Minyma Kutjara Arts. Rene was one of the founding members of Irrunytju Artists. Her work draws on her extensive knowledge of Country and the important rock holes around her place of birth. A skilled bush woman Rene incorporates wood carving (punu), weaving with tjanpi (grass) and beadwork into a contemporary art practice.
Working in sculpture and on canvas, Maureen uses a strong, vibrant colour pallet to paint the landscapes of Pukurra, the Tali (sandhill) Country of her father and grandfather. Developing her own distinct painting style, Nelsons’ work is bold and colourful, depicting these significant landmarks.
Diane Dawson is a passionate and versatile artist who explores a variety of styles including traditional tjukurpa (ancestral creation stories) passed down by her parents, both highly regarded artists. Dawson has recently been exploring landscapes in her own contemporary style, capturing the country around Irrunytju community through acrylic, watercolour and sculpture.
Noreen Parker is an artist with Minyma Kutjara Arts in the remote Western Australian Aboriginal Community of Irrunytju near the tri-state border. Her work is a powerful and evocative retelling of the story of the impact of the British Nuclear testing at Maralinga and the journey her uncles never came back from. It is a story told to her by her mother.
Russell Bryant is an emerging artist with Minyma Kutjara Arts in the remote Aboriginal community of Irrunytju in Western Australia. The art centre is well known for upcycling artwork from found objects.
Reggie Uluru is a highly respected senior artist with Walkatjara Arts in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As a well-known traditional owner of Uluru, Reggie took part in the official handback by the Australian Federal Government in 1985.
Judy Yuka Trigger
Judy Yuka Trigger is a greatly respected senior woman in Mutitjulu Community and a highly regarded artist who paints the Seven Sisters Tjukurrpa (dreaming story) amongst other subjects, she is also an accomplished wood (punu) carver. As one of a group of traditional dancers from around the country, she performed at the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in 2000. No stranger to others of high degree Judy has met His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey.
Artists Nyinku Jingo, Umatji Ray and Valerie Brumby work from the Walkatjara Arts studio in the heart of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.