ReDot Fine Art Gallery is proud to present the second Singaporean show of the colourful works of the Warlayirti Artists Aboriginal Corporation.
Warlayirti Artists is located in Balgo, in the arid north east of Western Australia, between the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts. As a midpoint between Alice Springs and Broome, this remote community, originally known as Balgo Hills, was established as a Catholic mission in 1939. Its 400 inhabitants are mostly Kukatja speakers, but seven main languages can be found here, making it a rich cultural and religious area, steeped in history.
Warlayirti Artists represents more than 350 artists across three communities in the Kutjungka region. Some of Australia’s leading contemporary artists as well as a large number of promising young pretenders are producing bright pieces with deceiving simple compositions. These creations harbour complex stories of the landscape and cycles of life of the desert.
Warlayirti Artists was established in 1987 with the employment of an art-coordinator, following the success of the first exhibition of Balgo art titled, “Paintings from the Great Sandy Desert,” featured at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 1986. However, the first public paintings by Balgo artists were banners completed in 1981 for the celebration of Father Piele’s Silver Jubilee. Following this, people began painting on canvas board through the Catholic run Wirrumanu Adult Education and Training Centre.
Since those humble beginnings the organisation has grown significantly and the artists represented by Warlayirti Artists have emerged as some of Australia’s leading contemporary indigenous artists. As a result Warlayirti Artists contributes significantly to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the Indigenous residents of the Kutjungka region. It is the only organisation in the region that offers indigenous people the opportunity to actively participate in the market economy.
Balgo artworks have gained a reputation for their boldness and vigor, commanding respect wherever they are exhibited. Artists like Eubena Nampitjin, Elizabeth Nyumi, Tjumpo Tjapanangka, Boxer Milner and Helicopter Tjungurrayi paved the way for the new generation of talents. Some have now departed but the success and future of the community has been firmly cemented by the emergence of these new stars such as Christine Yukenbarri, Theresa Nowee, Imelda Gugaman and Pauline Sunfly to name but a few, all ensuring that Warlayirti Artists will flourish into the new century.
Many of these artists will be on show for this inaugural show at our new premises and we look forward to welcoming you all there for a colour trip around the lands of this remarkable community.
The exhibition opens on Wednesday 24th February and runs until Tuesday 30th March 2010.