In the early 1970s, Paddy Japaljarri Stewart was involved in the painting of the mural on the Papunya School wall. In 1983, he and Paddy Japaljarri Sims were instrumental, together with other senior men, in the painting of the now famous Yuendumu school doors. With other senior leaders, including Darby Jampijinpa Ross, Jack Jakamarra Ross, Samson Japaljarri Martin, Uni Nampijinpa Martin, Dolly Nampijinpa Daniels, Rosie Nangala Fleming and Maggie Napangardi Watson, they went on to found the Warlukurlangu art centre in 1985. It was incorporated in 1986. Maintenance of culture was the driving motivation of the leaders of the art centre, most of whom were also leaders of the men’s and women’s ceremonies. Warlukurlangu Artists has now been the primary cultural organisation in Yuendumu for 38 years.
From its inception, Warlukurlangu’s art was recognised for its bold use of colour through an unrestricted palette, and this was integral to the distinctive style that emerged. The paintings tell the story of the artists’ connection to their country, the features of the landscape, the plants and animals that are found there, and ancestral narratives from the Jukurrpa.
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.