New Works


About Martumili Artists

Martumili Artists was established by Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya (Newman), Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong, and it draws on strong influences of Aboriginal art history. 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.  Most Martu people maintained an entirely independent, nomadic desert lifestyle until the 1950s and 1960s when they walked into settlements in response to a long and severe drought.  Today, Martu people live in their own communities and regularly visit regional centres such as Newman and Port Hedland.

Martumili Artists are based in the East Pilbara Arts centre in Newman, with artists working in the 6 other remote East Pilbara communities. Martumili Artists are an activity of the Shire of East Pilbara, and gratefully acknowledge BHP Billiton as their Principal Partner.

Images by Duncan Wright, Courtesy of FORM

Martumili News

‘Following in footsteps’ at Martumili Gallery, Newman, WA.

Many of the works by Martumili artists are representations of Country as defined by familial ties- artists paint “where their family is from and where they belong to” (Kuru Gladys Bidu). One’s Country encompasses their birthplace, and the Country they and their family lived on during the pujiman (traditional, desert dweller) era. Following in footsteps charts this relationship between family walytja and Country.

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Cuppatea with Wendy Nanji

Joining us for a cuppa tea or should I say coffee, is arts worker and artist Wendy Nanji. Wendy has worked in the arts for many years, first with Spinifex Hill Studio in Port Hedland and now with Martumili Artists. Wendy brings with her an infectious smile that cheers everyone up as soon as she walks in the door!

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Volunteering at Martumili Artists

If you’re curious to learn more about Martumili’s volunteer program, read an account from one of our recent volunteers, who very kindly wrote about their experience at our Newman studio in Western Australia.

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Reflection on Christmas Sales past!

Chatting with former Martumili Artists manager, Gabrielle Sullivan, discover the humble beginnings of our now legendary annual Christmas sale, when Martumili Artists’ office space comprised of a single desk in the Shire of East Pilbara’s Council Chambers, and the sale event saw the floors, tables and walls being covered with artworks for three days.

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Cuppatea with Helen Dale Samson

We chatted with Martumili artist Helen Dale Samson in the leadup to the Christmas sale about her exciting recent collaboration with Specsavers Australia for their Fred Hollows project, which has resulted in the production of three gorgeous, limited-edition frame styles featuring her artwork, ’Puntawarri’.

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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.