Martumili Artists is the art enterprise of the Martu people whose communities span the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts in Western Australia’s remote east Pilbara region.
In country marked by desert and salt lakes, Martu people weave their footprints from the Percival Lakes in northern Western Australia, Lake Disappointment in the south and across the iconic Canning Stock Route to the east.
It is this country that links the Martu, and through which the lines of language, family and Tjukurrpa are threaded together.
Connecting these immense swathes of land are the related languages of the Martu – Manyjilyjarra, Kartujarra, Putijarra and Warnman.
Martumili Artists works with Martu artists in all six communities dispersed through this remote but stunning country.
This is country whose remoteness sustains Martu identity, creates distinctiveness and nurtures unique talent.
A relatively new art enterprise (officially forming in 2006 after several years of negotiation and development), Martumili Artists make magic with the visual form.
The work created by this nest of 40 professional artists is experimental, contemporary and suffused with Martu experience – both cultural traditions and modern reinterpretations of tradition.Encompassing both two and three dimensional mediums (painting, fibre, wood), Martumili works reach out to the viewer and captivate.
Canvases are arresting hybrids of intense colour that are luminous and thought provoking.Finely-wrought baskets and other woven forms show technical and stylistic innovation and a modern, refined confidence.
Already a successful business enterprise and creative hub, Martumili Artists is wholly managed, facilitated, directed and marketed by the Martu people, with returns reinvested into ongoing arts practice in local communities.
The strength of Martu artists’ commitment to artistic practice is apparent not only in their artwork, which is already commanding much critical acclaim, but in the independent, rigorous and practical path Martu people shaped in establishing Martumili Artists..