New Works


Cuppatea with Sarafina Dickie

Hi Sarafina, What’s happening at Martumili today?

Some old people around, little bit quiet today.  I’m out in the garden sitting in the sun.

How do you like to have your tea?

White with milk maybe 2 sugar.  Maybe some biscuits.

How did you get involved with Martumili?

 I starting working with Fifi here in 2020.  Helping old people, making some feed for them, do my hours and do some painting.  I started when my little girl was a baby she is 6 years old now.  It’s fun for me, painting, sit back, do my hours.

How do you juggle motherhood and working at Martumili?

It’s good.  Sometimes she (Kayleen giggles in the background) plays by herself at Martumili, sitting next to me or she goes chat with the girls in the gallery.  She paints with me sometimes, she is sometimes out in Punmu with Debra, my aunty going to school out there.

What does a typical day at Martumili look like?

I put the sales in, sell the paintings.  Sometimes I like chatting to the tourists.  Do a little bit of painting, make some food.  Drop everyone home in the bus at the end of the day.

How did you learn to paint?

I been learning off my nanna Lorna.  I started when I was young learning baskets.  Me and Corban grew up with nanna Lorna Mintern.  When Corban start working at Martumili I wanted to come join in.  Nanna used to take us with Gabrielle, (old Martumili manager) taking us everywhere, painting and weaving.  She has a couple of paintings and basket but she is in care now.

Where did you grow up?

Most I grew up with the Sailors in Jigalong.  Little bit school in Jigalong, Newman then Karalundi.  I liked school.  I was happy to go to school.  I went to high school at Karalundi Aboriginal Education, I finished year 12 there.  Then I came back to Newman after that to my grandmother. 

I hear you did the recent workshop with Jackie Cheng?

Yeah, it was good.  Me and Wendy went to the shop with her get some mail and box of supplies for the workshop.  It’s like happy for me.  Nice to sit down and draw my painting, do something different.

What do you paint about?

 I’ve been making my painting of my grandpops country, behind Parnngurr.  I never went for KJ trip to see my country but I need to go see it.   All my paintings been sold, just making 2 new ones now. 

I just think and paint it, little bit of dot painting.  It’s alright my colours, make it nice. Water rock holes that kind of thing.  I started that little painting, first one 2020, now my paintings getting bit bigger.

I had a dream that my painting sold and the next day Judith told me in the office my painting sold! Makes me happy.

What’s next for you? 

I think maybe go to Darwin for the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. Go sell some paintings!  Help travel with the old people.   I like coming every day to Martumili.


Words by Zoe Martyn in conversation with Sarafina Dickie


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Martumili Artists warns visitors that our website includes images and artworks of Artists who have passed away which may cause distress to some Indigenous people.

Martumili Artists acknowledges the Nyiyaparli and Martu people as the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners throughout our country and our Elders; past, present and emerging.