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TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

TDF Collect

It’s a privilege to introduce our next TDF Collect exhibition, a spectacular group show in collaboration with the Martumili Artists from the Aboriginal art centre of the same name.

Based in Newman, Western Australia, Martumili Artists was established by the Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya, Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong as a safe space that celebrates the region’s rich history of Aboriginal art.

The collection of bright, bold, and expressive artworks reflect the local artists’ vibrant personalities, while telling poignant stories of their culture and connection to Country.

The works will be on display in our Collingwood gallery from June 2nd – June 9th, but you can the view the catalogue online and purchase the artworks via email from today!

16th May, 2022

Introducing our spectacular group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from the Aboriginal art centre in Parnpajinya, WA! Photo – courtesy Martumili Artists.

Left: ‘Tuwa in Puntawarri’ by Judith Anya Samson. 76 x 152 cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($,3179) Right: ‘Untitled’ by Lorna Linmurra. 91 x 121 cm. Acrylic on linen. ($2,442). 

Corban Clause Williams at work creating his work Kaalpa (Kalypa, Canning Stock Route Well 23) . Photo – courtesy Martumili Artists.

Kaalpa (Kalypa, Canning Stock Route Well 23) by Corban Clause Williams. 106 x 152 cm. Acrylic on linen. ($4,835)

This exhibition brings together a collection of 14 bold, and expressive artworks from 12 different artists. Photo – courtesy Martumili Artists.

‘Untitled’ by Doreen Chapman. 91 x 91 cm. Acrylic on linen. ($2,277)

Left: ‘Untitled’ by May Mayiwalku (May Wokka) Chapman. 46cm x 76cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($1,348) Right: ‘Untitled’ by Doreen Chapman. 91 x 91 cm. Acrylic on linen. ($2,277)

Photo – courtesy Martumili Artists.

Left to right: ‘Kunawarritji Rockholes’ by Pauline Williams. 61 x 91 cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($1,100). ‘Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25)’ by Gladys Kuru Bidu. 76 x 121 cm. Acrylic on linen ($1,837). ‘Punmu Waterholes’ by Marianne Burton. 46cm x 76cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($963)

‘Untitled’ by May Mayiwalku (May Wokka) Chapman. 91 x 122 cm. Acrylic on linen. ($3,885)

Photo – courtesy Martumili Artists.

‘Nyayartakujarra (Ngayarta Kujarra, Lake Dora) and Mulunyjarra Soak’ by Nancy Nyanjilpayi (Ngarnjapayi) Chapman. 61 x 91 cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($2,140)

A look inside the art centre! Photo – courtesy Martumili Artists.

From left to right: ‘Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25)’ by Bugai Whyoulter. 61 x 91 cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($2,442). ‘Kaalpa (Kalypa, Canning Stock Route Well 23)’ by Bugai Whyoulter. 46cm x 61cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($1,232). Bugai WhyoulterWantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25)’ by Bugai Whyoulter. 61 x 91 cm. Acrylic on canvas. ($2,442).

Lucy Feagins
Monday 16th May 2022

‘Nowadays you see a colourful painting and wonder what it is, but that’s how Martu tell story long ago. It’s not just a lovely painting, it’s a story and a songline and a history and everything that goes with it.’

Today we’re thrilled and honoured to be launching our second TDF Collect exhibition of the year – ‘Martumili Artists’!

This exhibition brings together a collection of 14 powerful, personal artworks from 12 different artists who work from the East Pilbara Arts centre in Newman, WA. The Martu 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 maintain an independent desert lifestyle, and live in their own communities, but regularly visit regional centres such as Newman and Port Hedland, where they often come together at the art centre over cups of tea!

Many of the works in the show, such as the brightly coloured ‘Untitled’ by May Wokka Chapman, depict the artist’s ngurra, or home Country. Immortalising the physical characteristics of that place and subsequent Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories in art has become an important means of cultural maintenance.

Similarly, Marianne Burton’s ‘Punmu waterholes’ shares stories of her home and her childhood. ‘We grew up in Punmu around all these water holes,’ Marianne says. ‘I still live here with my grandkids, [we share the] same stories for all these places.’

Doreen Chapman builds a layered representation of her Country through her trademark wild colour palettes, with a mix of realist and traditional elements coming together in her painting, ‘Untitled‘, while Pauline Williams‘Kunawarritji Rockholes’ is a familial recreation of a painting her mother had made, filled with memories and earthy pink tones.

For these artists, art-making is also the practice of ‘place-making’ – where they can embed the stories of their past in their intricate paintings with a sense of permanence.

This sentiment is perfectly put by fellow Martumili artist, Ngalangka Nola Taylor and Joshua Booth: ‘When Martu paint, it’s like a map. Martu draw story on the ground and on the canvas, and all the circle and line there are the hunting areas and different waters and tracks where people used to walk, and [some you] can’t cross, like boundaries.’

‘So nowadays you see a colourful painting and wonder what it is, but that’s how Martu tell story long ago. It’s not just a lovely painting, it’s a story and a songline and a history and everything that goes with it.’

Sales for  TDF Collect: ‘Martumili Artists’ are now open! You can see the full catalogue here. For all sales and enquiries please email art@thedesignfiles.net.

GALLERY HOURS
Thursday June 2nd – Saturday June 4th, 10am – 4pm
Tuesday June 7th – Thursday June 9th, 10am – 4pm

TDF Collect
14 Little Oxford Street
Collingwood, Victoria

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net