In the 1960’s a group of Yulparija women and men walked out from the country around Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route in search of water.
A severe drought had left the country desolate and people where dying.
There was little option but to leave their traditional country and head to the various white fella missions whose metals and matches had been traded inland along with stories of plentiful food and water.
The Yulparija clan ended up in saltwater country at Bidyadanga, two hours south of Broome, the traditional country of the Karrajarri.
When the Karrajarri were given back their country several years ago, they suggested to the four desert tribes that maybe they would like to return to their country, but they couldn’t.
They now all ate fish, and their grandchildren only knew saltwater ways, so the Karrrajarri, kindly welcomed them to stay, with permission to hunt and use their country as their own.
This however triggered a realisation that the traditional stories of Yulparija would be lost to their children and grandchildren, a desire to paint and record these along with their songs became a pressing concern.
The extraordinary works of the Yulparija artists reflect the contemporary experiences of these people, with desert iconography being portrayed in the rich blues and reds and greens of the coastal landscape that the artists have been living in for the past 35 years.
They are truly contemporary art works, although draw completely on traditional experiences.
They have exhibited regularly around the country and overseas, and have been widely collected by important institutions and collectors, including, National Gallery of Victoria, Laverty Collection, RACV Collection Myer Collection, Kerry Stokes Collection, University of Notre Dame, National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of Western Australia and many others..