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.
“Bugai always tells about Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25) because she grew up around Wantili. She saw whitefellas there for the first time.”
– Bugai Whyoulter, as translated by her grandson, Cyril Whyoulter
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’.
From stretching canvas, mixing paint to driving 850km to deliver materials. The production of one painting requires a whole team of dedicated arts workers who operate behind the scenes to ensure artists have access to materials, so they can do what they do best – make art!
Share a Cuppa Tea with Martumili Artist Sharon Porter. She’s been painting up a storm in the Kunawarritji
art shed since arriving earlier this year, and while she’s a fresh addition to Martumili Artists, Sharon
brings with her a lifetime of painting experience. She tells us how she began her artistic journey
alongside her grandmother, Katjarra Butler, then joining Tjarlili Art in Tjukurla community and
working as an independent artist in Alice Springs before finally arriving here.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Martumili Artists had taken over the Paul Johnstone Gallery in Darwin,
with our artists represented in two back-to-back, sell-out solo shows held between July and September of this year. For Derrick Butt, this show marked an incredibly exciting milestone- his first solo exhibition. Meanwhile, desert master Bugai Whyoulter effortlessly delivered yet another spectacular solo show.
Collaborative paintings are often more about the process and the message they carry rather than the final outcome. Whilst the finished painting is important, the
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.