Art, Culture, Country

Partnering with remote Indigenous Art Centres to deliver a landmark digital project that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create and share unique arts and cultural experiences with the world.


Art, Culture, Country

Partnering with remote Indigenous Art Centres to deliver a landmark digital project that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create and share unique arts and cultural experiences with the world.

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Art Centres

Mangkaja Arts

Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency is a vibrant Aboriginal-owned and governed art centre representing the five language groups of the Fitzroy Valley in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. We are a not-for-profit Aboriginal corporation and support economic, social and cultural development for more than 200 Indigenous artists and their families. Mangkaja artists are renowned for their uninhibited style and lively use of colour, painting images of country that share stories of culture and identity. Innovators in exploring and developing new mediums, they consistently push the bounds of Indigenous art. Mangkaja artists feature in major art prizes, national public and private collections and exhibit nationally and internationally.

8 Bell Rd, Fitzroy Crossing WA 6765

Featured Artists

Born: 1964

Region: Walmajarri (Great Sandy Desert) WA

John Prince Siddon is the son of Pompey Siddon, who was one of the founding painters at Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency in Fitzroy Crossing W.A in 1991. A Walmajarri man, he was born in Derby, and spent his early years working on cattle stations until injured in a horse riding accident. Prince now lives in Fitzroy Crossing. His narrative formula stems from the traditional Kimberley craft of boab nut carving. Moving between 2D and 3D, Prince depicts often confronting imagery inspired by national and global issues he sees on television, his own story and desert iconography and the Narrangkarni (Dreamtime). Prince is frequently elected as a regular finalist in the prestigious Telstra NATSIAA and has had major solo shows at the Perth International Festival and TARNANTHI, amongst others.

Born: 1952

Region: Walmajarri (Great Sandy Desert) WA

Sonia Kurarra grew up in the river country at Yungngora (Noonkanbah). She used to help the kindergarten teacher with teaching art. They used to take the children out to the Sandy Billabong and teach them how to paint and dance and learn about the ngarrangkarni [Dreamtime] snake that lives in the billabong. His name is Nangurra. Sonia paints the sandy billabong country along the stretch of the Fitzroy River that runs directly behind the community. After the floodwaters recede, there are billabongs that hold a plentiful supply of parlka [barramundi], kurlumajarti [catfish] and bream. She paints gapi [fish], parrmarr [rocks] where the fish is cooked, ngurti [coolamon] and a karli [boomerang]. Sonia is one of Mangkaja Arts leading contemporary artists.

Born: 1950

Region: Imanara

Mervyn Street is a Gooniyandi man. Gooniyandi is one of the two river groups from the country around Fitzroy Crossing. He was born at Louisa Downs Station. Mervyn speaks fluent Gooniyandi as well as English. Mervyn is an accomplished author, illustrator, carver and painter. He has authored a book entitled ‘Know Your Granny’ about his Country and his language. He has also co-produced the book entitled ‘At The River’. Mervyn has used his artwork extensively in the Yiyili School where he teaches his traditional language. Mervyn is an important person for art and culture in Yiyili and Pull Out Springs communities and is the Chair person of Mangkaja Arts.

Born: 1963

Region: Walmajarri (Great Sandy Desert), WA. Nykina (Derby Region - West Kimberley), WA

Annette Lormada’s bush name is Bingarli. Annette was born in Fitzroy Crossing Hospital and speak two languages Walmajarri and Nyikina. She grew up in Fitzroy and started going to Fitzroy Crossing primary school then high School. After finishing school, Annette worked as a shop keeper. Annette Lormada started coming to Mangkaja Studio a few years back. In that short time she has encapsulated a legacy, pushing colour and imagery in a unique and dynamic way to tell stories about her fond memories of growing up by the Fitzroy River. Annette’s repertoire of whimsical fishy creatures describes the creation stories she learnt as a child and the food they caught and still do that are so good to eat.

Born: 1969

Region: Walmajarri (Great Sandy Desert), WA

Jennifer Nangala Dickens was born beside the mighty Fitzroy Crossing, and grew up at Cherrabun Station. Jennifer works at Mangkaja Art Centre where she is a Director and Cultural Advisor. Jennifer is a certified interpreter and can speak Walmajarri and English and has travelled all over Western Australia. She has been completed governance training through ORIC, was selected to participate in the prestigious National Gallery of Australia Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Leadership Program and the ANKA Arts Worker Extension Program, and has completed a Certificate IV Bilingual Work at Kimberley TAFE.

Born: 1961

Region: Walmajarri (Great Sandy Desert), WA

Dorothy was born in Derby, then she grew up in Jubilee Down Station. “My mum and dad worked there for the station manager and also my Grandmother. Some of the paintings I do is about my grandmother when she used to take me fishing and some painting are about my father’s stories about his country and where he was born so I do painting about his country and the stories he told me.”

Born: 1932

Region: Payinjarra, Great Sandy Desert

Taku Rosie Taco King was born at a jumu [soak water] called Payinjarra in the Great Sandy Desert. She walked out from the desert with my husband when she was a young girl. Her husband had two wives, her older sister and herself. They were wearing yakapiri [bush used to make sandals to protect feet from the hot ground]. At Old Bililluna they happened across a plane landing. I didn’t know any English and so I just looked at the kartiya [Europeans]. After that, a motorcar came and took Rosie, her husband and her sister to Moola Bulla. Rosie only spoke Juwaliny when she came out from the desert but today she speaks Juwaliny, Walmajarri, Kriol and English. Rosie has been painting with Mangkaja Arts for a long time.

Born: 1932

Region: Payinjarra, Great Sandy Desert

Nyangarni, of the Walmajarri language group was born at Wanywurtu under a tutujarti [desert walnut] tree. She grew up there with her family of one father, two mothers, one brother and two sisters. There is a rock hole with spring water at Wanywurtu where Nyangarni remembers going walkabout for goanna and pussycat [feral cat]. Nyangarni’s family and other groups migrated north to the cattle station country surrounding the Fitzroy Valley. When they left the desert she was a girl in her early teens. Nyangarni’s beautiful paintings show the traditional waterholes and hunting grounds of the Great Sandy Desert where she and her family lived up until the early 1950s.

A Project by Agency

UPLANDS is an immersive digital project that has been designed to celebrate Indigenous Art Centres and share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic and cultural practices with the world.

This large scale immersive digital mapping project features over twenty remote Indigenous Art Centres, and interviews with over 150 Indigenous artists and arts workers from across the country.

UPLANDS is a project by Agency and has been funded by the Australian Government through the Restart to Invest, Sustain and Expand (RISE) program and the Indigenous Visual Art Industry Support (IVAIS) program.






Principal Partner

Government Partners

Project Partners

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Sovereign Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We extend our respects to their Ancestors and all First Nations peoples and Elders past, present, and future.