our art centre

Warlayirti Artists have a reputation for vibrant colour, bold brush-strokes and distinctly individual art works. Warlayirti Artists is located in the community of Wirrimanu (Balgo) in the southeast Kimberley, on the edge of the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts in the Kutjungka region of northern Western Australia.

Warlayirti Artists represents more than 200 artists across the four communities in the Kutjungka region – Kururrungka (Billiluna), Mulan, Kundat Djaru (Ringer Soak) and Wirrimanu (Balgo). There are eight distinct language groups – Kukatja, Ngardi, Djaru, Warlpiri, Walmajarri, Wangkajunga, Pintupi and Manyjiljarra– each with their own history and stories to tell. Warlayirti Art Centre accommodates a community of artists diverse in age, cultural and life experience – some brought up in the traditional bush manner, others on the Mission, and others in modern-day community. For this multicultural and diverse artistic group, art is part of everyday life and cultural continuity.

The art centre provides several large studio spaces for artists and a large purpose-built gallery where work is displayed and sold. If you can’t make it to Balgo you can visit our online shop. The Culture Centre within Warlayirti Artists is where artists and community members hold regular meetings and events and includes an outdoor stage area for performances.

An archive holds 35 years of cultural material to ensure future generations can continue to share and tell their stories.

Warlayirti Artists is an Aboriginal owned and governed, not-for-profit organization with deductible gift recipient status. See our donations page for more details.

Warlayirti Artists are represented in major public and private collections across the globe. Follow us on facebook and instagram to keep in-touch with our exhibition and events schedule or subscribe to our newsletter. We also host special exhibitions on our Ngurra gallery page.


Kurralkaya nganayingka, wuungkungkaya payinting-manama. Yujim-manamaya pamarrpa, kalajpa yalawu-wan, rayat-wan and pilak-wan, tjaakalpa. Yujim-manamaya kurralka, tjitja rnawu, wuungkungka. Wiya marru nyinangu. Wilytja palyanmaya. Hmm, tjitja rnawu nganayi, wangkanguya house kala watjarnu ‘tuwu-mankuwa!’ Tuwu-mankuwa, all the uncle, ngunpaya wul-lat nyinama tjiingka tatinguny. Wulkuman-wulkuman yangka luuj, wiyarringu, yawiyi.

Convent-karnaya palyanma. Laltuya palyanmaya tjiitjanu, Training Center-ngkaya palyanmaya. Training Centre-tjanu yanuya Convent-kutulpi. Convent-tjanu––. Wal, tjiingkingu, wiya, palyalkula kutja Art Centre waltjalalku. Ngurra tjurnulpiya. Art Centre-rnaya ngaratjurnu.

Tuwu-manamalatja ngayukurnu parnkurnatju nyangama, Imeldakurnu ngama. Watjarnutju, wanku ngatjan nyuntulu palyanmal! Watjalatjana kartiyangka kanya yarraya tiiwatjanu kartiya. Watjalatju orangewanpa tjitja sandpa, nganayingka little bit redpa tjitja fire. Watjanamalatju yeah, tjitjarnawu.

Makimalatju yalu ngayukurnu kidsparnatjana learnim-manu. Doimmanalpa ngan tjapitji ngurra-ngkunyurran. Nyilangkunyurran palyalkuwa. Tjuwim-manamarnatjana ngayu. Payinting-palatjana, nyuntunlpa nyurrany tuwum, tuwu-manal payinting katjalatju nganayi rnawu, pitjirnalpi nyinamal, wiyiltjaya-ngka. Yuwayi, nyamu.

A long time ago, they used to do paintings around the windbreaks and humpies. They would use ochres of all different colours: yellow ones, red ones and black–charcoal ones. This is what they used to use a long time ago, all just alongside the windbreaks. There were no houses back then. They would (just) make windbreaks (for themselves) Hmm, then they said “let’s put up houses!”. And so they put up the houses, the uncles, all of them there (helped), and my father’s mob. And all the old women too whom we have lost, they have since passed away, poor things.

From then, they stated painting around the Convent. Lots of them were making art from then on; they had been painting at the Training Centre (first), and from the Training Centre they went to the Convent. From the Convent–– well then they thought, no, let’s make an Art Centre for ourselves. And so they established a place and built the Art Centre.

I was watching my cousin and Imelda’s mother (Lucy Yukenbarri) as they painted. She said to me, ‘you really should start making it (art) now too. And we would speak with kartiya (whitefellas) too who would visit. Kartiya who come from a long way away. We would explain (to them) how orange colours relate to the sand; and here; how little bits of red represent fire. We would talk about it like so.

I also encourage my kids to learn to paint too. I (tell) them, ‘paint your tjapitji’s (mother’s father) country! You should paint your country, Nyila!’ I would show them painting. You now, you lot do the painting now, while we watch from (our) wheelchairs.

Yeah, that’s all.


executive committee



Senior Chair

Jackie Williams


Jane Gimme

Vice Chair

Marie Mudgedell


Matthew West


Vincent Nanala


volunteer with us

Volunteers are welcome to work at the art centre! If you have specific skills that can contribute to our enterprise please let us know. We welcome all skills from Carpentry to photography. 

Day to day duties range from assisting in the studio by mixing paints or making tea to driving 4WD or packing art works for the mail.   

Basic volunteer accommodation is provided.   

Volunteers must apply in writing to the Manager of the art centre director@balgoart.org.au along with a copy of their CV and references and outlining how you think you can contribute. 

From time to time we will call out for Volunteers on our social media accounts so stay tuned! 


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