Innovative, bold art telling stories of the Balgo community
Warlayirti Artists is one of Australia's leading Indigenous art centres, whose artists have a reputation for vibrant colour and distinctly individual art works. Warlayirti Artists is located in the community of Wirrimanu (Balgo), on the edge of the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts in the Kutjungka region of northern Western Australia. Wirrimanu is the ceremonial hub for several Indigenous clans and is on the Luurnpa (Kingfisher) Dreaming Track.
Established in 1987, Warlayirti Artists represents more than 200 artists across the three communities in the Kutjungka region - Kururrungka (Billiluna), Mulan and Wirramanu (Balgo). There are eight different language groups – Kukatja, Ngardi, Djaru, Warlpiri, Walmajarri, Wangkajunga, Pintupi and Ngaatjatjaras – each with their own history and stories to tell. For this multicultural and diverse artistic group, art is part of everyday life and cultural continuity.
Warlayirti Artists has some of the best purpose-built facilities in remote Australia. The Warlayirti Art Centre is a dynamic place, functioning as a studio space for artists, as well as a large purpose-built gallery for the display and sale of artworks. The Art Centre is also home to a cultural Keeping Place and archive of national significance.
The Art Centre accommodates a community of artists diverse in age, culture and life experience – some brought up in the traditional bush manner and others in the modern-day community. The artists use traditional and new media to share and tell their stories. Warlayirti Artists is known for its bright acrylic works on canvas and linen, however artists have also been developing their skills in the areas of printmaking, photography and other medium.
Artists exhibit widely nationally and internationally, and are represented in major public and private collections.
Warlayirti Artists is an Aboriginal owned and governed, not-for-profit organisation with its main purpose to support the strong cultural traditions.