Warlayirti Artists (est. 1987) is a holistic artistic enterprise that prioritises the mental and spiritual health of artists and families through Connection to Country camps and cultural development, as well as daily arts practice. Without culture, there is no art.
The former Balgo Hills mission and surrounding stations brought together eight language groups: Kukatja, Walmajarri, Jaru, Wangkajunga, Pintupi, Warlpiri, Ngardi and Manyjilyjarra. This region, known as the Kutjungka (together, as one), is in the south-east Kimberley, on the edge of the Great Sandy and Tanami deserts.
Warlayirti represents over 200 artists from the Kutjungka communities of Wirrimanu / Balgo, Mulan, Kururrungku / Billiluna and Kundat Djaru / Ringer Soak.
Balgo art has a reputation for vibrant colour, bold brush strokes and distinctly individual forms. The art from Balgo and the surrounding region is charged with the strength of cultural diversity.
The passing on of story through painting, as well as time spent on country is essential for the intergenerational transfer of knowledge and the future strength of communities. For this multicultural and diverse artistic group, art is part of everyday life and cultural continuity.
Warlayirti is governed by a Kutjungka board of directors, made up of cultural leaders and an Elder advisory body. Our ethics are centred on working tjungarni (right-way) and with ngaparrku-ngaparrku (reciprocity, two-way relationships).
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.