Martumili Artists was established by Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya / Newman, Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong. The artists and their families are the traditional custodians of vast stretches of the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson deserts, as well as the Karlamilyi / Rudall River area. Most Martu people maintained an entirely independent, nomadic desert lifestyle until the 1950s and 1960s when they walked into settlements in response to a long and severe drought.
Martumili Artists is based in the East Pilbara Arts Centre in Parnpajinya, with artists working in the six other remote East Pilbara communities. Martumili Artists is a place of autonomy for Martu artists; it is a pukurlpa (happy) and safe place where everyone is welcome. Martu artists are involved in every aspect of the art centre, and it is a place where art-making is also the practice of place-making. Bright, bold and expressive art encapsulates the contemporary aesthetic and cultural authenticity of Martumili artist, whose stories and knowledge of country and culture directly inform their practice.
Desert Mob is presented annually in Mparntwe | Alice Springs on Arrernte Country.
On behalf of Desart’s staff and art centre members, the Executive Committee humbly and respectfully acknowledge the Arrernte Apmereke Artweye (Traditional Owners) and Kwertengerle (Traditional Managers) of Mparntwe.
Desart respectfully advises Aboriginal readers that this website may contain names, images and artworks of people who have passed away.