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Painting - New Work from Yuendumu

The Aboriginal settlement of Yuendumu, located about 280 kilometres north west of Alice Springs, is home to over a thousand people, most of whom are Warlpiri. The Yuendumu-based Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Association, an independent association of local artists, was established in 1985. It is recognized as one of most important and successful art cooperatives in Indigenous Australian history.

From the outset senior Warlpiri women played a prominent role in the painting movement at Yuendumu, hoping to establish an economic base founded on social and cultural imperatives. The art centre is an important source of local income, community activity and communal self-esteem.
From the beginning artworks by Yuendumu artists have been characterised by strong design elements, robust, left-of-field use of colour, and a generally uninhibited approach to art making. The joie de vivre expressed in these works points to the fulfilment of the Yuendumu artistsí desire for a visual arts-led cultural and economic renaissance underpinned by ethical considerations.

Christine Nicholls is a writer, curator and Senior Lecturer in Australian Studies at Flinders University Adelaide. From 1982-1992 she lived and worked at Lajamanu, a remote Warlpiri Aboriginal settlement in the Tanami Desert of the Northern Territory, and sister settlement to Yuendumu. Dr Nicholls has published many books and articles on Indigenous Australian art and languages, a number of which have been translated into languages other than English.

 
 

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