Tracks We Share: Contemporary Art of the Pilbara
Tracks We Share: Contemporary Art of the Pilbara
Celebrating the Aboriginal artists and artwork of Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The show is a collaboration between Western Australian non-profit arts and cultural organisation FORM; The Art Gallery of Western Australia; Aboriginal art centres Cheeditha Art Group, Juluwarlu Art Group, Martumili Artists, Spinifex Hill Studio, and Yinjaa-Barni Art; and independent artists Katie West, Curtis Taylor, and Jill Churnside.
Tracks We Share: Contemporary Art of the Pilbara brings together more than 70 artists and over 190 artworks. This extraordinary body of work features the most exciting contemporary art coming out of the region while paying homage to the legacy that has informed it, offering a rare and broad-reaching insight into the region’s artistic output over the years.
The exhibition is one of the final stages in a multi-year project which has documented the context and development of the artmaking practices that are a key way the Pilbara’s Aboriginal communities share, sustain and celebrate culture. The project maps the breadth of the region’s diverse creative practice and honours the unique space the Pilbara’s Aboriginal artists have carved out amongst contemporary Australian art.
The title of the exhibition was devised by a group of the exhibiting artists and references the many language groups and diverse Country of the Pilbara, while acknowledging the physical, cultural and artistic tracks that connect them all.
The core of the exhibition is a spectacular selection of the stunning acrylic paintings for which the region’s art movement is primarily known, accompanied by works on paper, installations, film, animation, photographs, sculptures, and carvings. Together, the works highlight the immense artistic diversity that exists within the region, spanning a gamut of styles while referencing ancient knowledge and modern events.
The Tracks We Share project has encompassed consultation, artwork development, artistic commissions, artistic residencies, and professional development. Extensive project documentation will be shared in the form of a publication which will provide insight into the artists, places, creative processes, Country, and stories behind the art.
It’s a lot of people coming together, sharing. Different areas have different vibes about their artwork. So I’m from this area [Yindjibarndi Country], I paint different to someone from maybe the Western Desert. Coming together and putting all these artworks together is bringing us together and sharing the knowledge. You can yarn about the story in your artworks. So for a place like the Pilbara, art is very vital, where everyone is there to share their stories. For that’s what art is. Sharing your stories through your artwork.
Gladys Kuru Bidu (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Ngamaru Bidu (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio
Jakayu Biljabu (Martumili Artists)
Yikartu Bumba (Martumili Artists)
Biddy Bunawarrie (dec.) (Martumili Artists)
Illyampi Victor Burton (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Marianne Burton (Martumili Artists)
Doreen Chapman (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Maywokka (Mayiwalku) Chapman (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Nyanjilpayi (Ngarnjapayi) Nancy Chapman (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Jane Cheedy (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Lyn Cheedy (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Barngyi (Pansy) Cheedy (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Jill Churnside (Independent)
Corban Clause Williams (Martumili Artists)
Judith Coppin (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Lorraine Coppin (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Tootsie Daniel (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Lorna Dawson (Spinifex Hill Studio)
Wurta Amy French (Martumili Artists)
Nyaparu (William) Gardiner (dec.) (Spinifex Hill Studio)
Gloria (Spinifex Hill Studio)
Kumpaya Girgirba (Martumili Artists)
Maggie Green (Spinifex Hill Studio)
Alice Guiness (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Bigali Ngawurradarn Hanlon (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Marlene Harold (Yinjaa-Barni Art)
Wendy Hubert (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Maudie Jerrold (Yinjaa-Barni Art
Thelma Dundan Ngarga Judson (Martumili Artists)
Jatarr Lily Long (Martumili Artists)
Clifton Mack (dec.) (Yinjaa-Barni Art)
Mulyatingki Marney (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Courtney McKay (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Minyawe Miller (Martumili Artists/Spinifex Hill Studio)
Harry Mills (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Nora (Nyangapa) Nungabar (dec.) (Martumili Artists)
Nyangula Katie Nalgood (Spinifex Hill Studio)
Pinyirr Nancy Patterson (dec.) (Martumili Artists)
Margaret Read (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Winnie Sampi (Spinifex Hill Studio)
Dadda Samson (dec.) (Martumili Artists)
Helen Dale Samson (Martumili Artists)
Judith Anya Samson (Martumili Artists)
Aileen Sandy (Yinjaa-Barni Art)
Allery Sandy (Yinjaa-Barni Art)
Melissa Sandy (Yinjaa-Barni Art)
Wayne Stevens (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Curtis Taylor (Independent)
Desmond Taylor (Martumili Artists)
Ignatius Taylor (Martumili Artists)
Muuki Taylor (Martumili Artists)
Kanu (Karnu) Nancy Taylor (dec.)(Martumili Artists)
Ngalanka Nola Taylor (Martumili Artists)
Wokka Taylor (Martumili Artists)
Wendy Warrie (Cheeditha Art Group)
Mary Watson (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Katie West (Independent)
Bugai Whyoulter (Martumili Artists)
Cyril Whyoulter (Martumili Artists)
Tamisha Williams (Martumili Artists)
Nora Wompi (dec.) (Martumili Artists)
Michael Woodley (Juluwarlu Art Group)
Juluwarlu Art Group Ngundamurri (corroboree) performers
Michael Charlton, Taryn Millroy, Landon Punch, Frank Smith, Ricky Smith, Wayne Stevens, Chad Woodley, John Woodley, Kingsley Woodley, Michael Woodley, Michael Woodley Jnr., Wil Woodley, Wimiya Woodley
Martumili Artists Kintyre collaborative canvas artists
Wokka Taylor (dec.), Muuki Taylor, Ngalangka, Nola Taylor, Curtis Taylor, Ngamaru Bidu, Kumpaya Girgirba, Desmond Taylor, Corban Clause Williams, Judith Anya Samson, Ignatius Hamzah Taylor, Tamisha Williams, Derrick Butt, Jenny Butt, Chloe Jadai, Kiarah, Jadai, Shirley Jadai, Yvonne Mandijalu, Marilyn Bullen, Mayika Chapman, Nikeal (Noni) Taylor, Robina Clause, Christine Thomas, Maisie Ward
Cheeditha Art Group
Cheeditha Art Group is an art cooperative showcasing the culture and creativity of the Kariyarra, Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people from the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Cheeditha Art Group is based in Cheeditha community, a small Aboriginal community outside of Roebourne. Cheeditha artists work in a range of mediums that reflect the diversity of skills and interests of the participating artists.
Juluwarlu Art Group
Juluwarlu Art Group is part of Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal-owned organisation that is dedicated to preserving, recording, and promoting the culture of Yindjibarndi people. Based in Roebourne, Juluwarlu provides significant support and services to artists of all ages, enabling them to develop skills, share their artworks and stories, and earn an income through the expression and maintenance of their culture.
Martumili Artists was established by Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya (Newman), Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong. An activity of the Shire of East Pilbara, Martumili Artists is based in the East Pilbara Arts Centre in Newman, with artists also working across the six other remote East Pilbara communities. The 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.
Spinifex Hill Studio
Spinifex Hill Studio stands on Kariyarra Country in South Hedland and works with over 100 artists from many different language groups, presenting contemporary art which covers a breadth of styles. In July 2021, Spinifex Hill Studio expanded to include Spinifex Hill Project Space which presents a year-round program of events for the Hedland community.
Yinjaa-Barni Art is a not-for-profit Aboriginal Corporation based in Roebourne, working as a collective of Aboriginal artists who predominantly belong to the Yindjibarndi language group. The Yinjaa-Barni artists are known for their deeply personal works of collective memory, rendering the wildflowers, river systems and landforms of their country onto canvas.
The Art Gallery of Western Australia
AGWA is the State Art Gallery and houses the State Art Collection which is renowned for its Western Australian and Indigenous works. The Gallery offers a changing schedule of exhibition, programs and events that take place in the heritage-listed, Brutalist building. In 2021, the Gallery opened its new rooftop space including sculpture walk, bar and multi-purpose arts space.
FORM is an independent, non-profit arts organisation based in Perth and the Pilbara. FORM works to build a cultural and creative ecology in Western Australia that values artistic excellence, improves arts access for all, and encourages resilient and vibrant communities. The organisation’s activities span high-level artist development, exhibitions, and festivals; place making and strategy; cultural infrastructure development; collaboration with Aboriginal artists and communities; research and advocacy. FORM manages The Goods Shed in Perth and Spinifex Hill Studio and Project Space in South Hedland.
Homepage tile image credit - Nyaparu (William) Gardiner (dec.) Cattlemen in the Pilbara 2018 (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 152 x 152 cm. Image courtesy of Nyaparu (William) Gardiner (dec.) (Spinifex Hill Studio).
What's on tile image credit - Marianne Burton Punmu Waterholes 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 91 x 91 cm. Image courtesy of Marianne Burton (Martumili Artists).