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Paintings from Western Australia USA Holiday Season 2014-2015

Martumili - The Martu People “I paint to tell the kids where we are from, where all the older people really come from. Painting makes me feel purkurlpa (good inside)�. – Muni (Rita Simpson).

This 2014-2015 Holiday season in Sun Valley marks the first USA exhibition by Martumili - The Martu People of the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. Martumili Artists was established almost a decade ago by the Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya (Newman), Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong. These artists and their families are the traditional custodians of vast stretches of land in the area including the Great Sandy, Little Sandy, and Gibson deserts as well as the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) area. The art center is solely owned and governed by the Martu people. Art plays a particularly important role in the cultural and economic life of the Martu communities. Many of the Martu artists are senior custodians of Martu cultural heritage who use their arts practices as a conduit for passing on knowledge of country and culture to younger family members. At the same time, managing the exhibition and sale of artworks is an important way in which Martu artists are carving out a sustainable livelihood, simultaneously building new appreciation of and audiences for their unique desert country and culture. The captivating work produced by practitioners at Martumili Artists marks an extension of the international profile of the Pilbara region which has previously been centred on the wealth and resources of mineral exports in the area. Martu artists have been central to the emerging recognition of the East Pilbara as a cultural hub of extensive Indigenous heritage and artistic excellence in greater Australia.

Background image: YIKARTU BUMBA, Laripuka (detail) acrylic on canvas, 60” x 30” (152 x 76 cm), Catalog #14-564

Martumili Artists has been responsive to the wishes of the Martu artists as a group by establishing art spaces and studios which allow artists to work in their own communities. Since most of the communities are separated by a half days’ drive, this has been logistically complex, but remains critical to the success of a distinctively Martu arts center. The strength of Martu artists’ commitment to artistic practice is visible not only in their artwork, but also in the markedly independent, rigorous and practical path Martu people followed in establishing Martumili Artists. Making artworks, and managing the way those artworks are sold and exhibited are key ways in which Martu people are working to keep their culture strong. Art encourages the telling of stories and the sharing of knowledge across generations. In recent years Martumili Artists have received critical acclaim with two major Australian exhibitions; ‘We don’t need a map: a Martu experience of the Western Desert’ a touring exhibition held across six regional museums in Australia, and ‘Martu Art From The Far Western Desert’ held at the prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Harvey Art Projects USA is proud to bring the spirit of the Western Desert to the USA through this stunning exhibition of twenty paintings. We gratefully acknowledge the Martu artists in this exclusive USA exhibition. Special thanks to Arts Center Managers, Gabrielle Sullivan and Carly Day.

NGAMARU BIDU and JAKAYU BILJABU, Payarr (detail), acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36” (122 x 91 cm), Catalog #13-849a+b

JAKAYU BILJABU, Pidu (detail), acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36” (91 x 91 cm), Catalog #14-27

MABEL WAKARTA, Yirajarra (detail), acrylic on canvas, 72” x 60” (183 x 152 cm), Catalog #14-69

NGAMARU BIDU and JAKAYU BILJABU, Wantili (detail), acrylic on linen, 72” x 72” (183 x 183 cm), Catalog #13-1013a+b

BUGAI WHYOULTER, Untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36” (91 x 91 cm), Catalog #14-63

BUGAI WHYOULTER, Untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36” (91 x 91 cm), Catalog #14-62

LILY JATARR LONG, Untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 28” x 47” (70 x 120 cm), Catalog #14-355

AMY FRENCH, ...a plane in pujiman days (detail), acrylic on canvas, 30” x 48” (76 x 122 cm), Catalog #14-101

JAKAYU BILJABU, Wantili (detail), acrylic on canvas, 30” x 48” (76 x 121 cm), Catalog #14-362

JAKAYU BILJABU, Wikiri (detail), acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48” (91 x 122 cm), Catalog #14-51

Amy French Billy Yunkurra Atkins Bugai Whyoulter Jakayu Biljabu Judith Anya Samson Kumpaya Girgirba Lily Jatarr Long Mabel Wakarta Ngamaru Bidu Nyarrie Morgan Yikartu Bumba

KUMPAYA GIRGIRBA and JAKAYU BILJABU, Untitled acrylic on linen, 48” x 60” (121 x 152 cm) Catalog #14-389a+b

On view 27 December - 30 January 2015 Sun Valley, USA 391 First Avenue North Ketchum, ID 83340 USA | Phone (208) 309-8676 Front Cover: Bugai Whyoulter, Wantili, acrylic on linen, 59” x 59” (150 x 150 cm), Catalog # 14-100 Back Cover: Billy Yunkurra Atkins, Image Courtesy Martumili Artists Copyright 2014 Harvey Art Projects USA & Martumili Artists


Martumili USA 2014-2015  

This Holiday season, we are thrilled to welcome for the first time in the USA Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia. These bold a...

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