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

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts is a living, growing art centre celebrating the uniqueness of Miriwoong cultural identity. Established in the 1980s, in the heart of Miriwoong country at Kununurra in the Kimberley region of northern Australia, Waringarri artists share the importance of their Country and Culture. Waringarri is the first wholly indigenous owned art centre established in Western Australia and one of the oldest continuously operating art centres in Australia supporting economic independence for artists and their community.

16 Speargrass Rd, Kununurra WA 6743

Featured Artists

Born: 1950

Region: Jalin

Peggy Griffiths arts practice reflects her strong commitment to her Miriwoong culture. Her elegant imagery resonates with references to cultural performance of which she is a renowned dancer. The winding of waterways are the sinuous and graceful body movements of a dancer; the outlining dotting reflects a performer’s body painting. Her works document the traditional country of her mother and grandfather and her recent works capture the movement of wind through the spinifex country which for the artist is evidence that the spirit of culture is alive. Peggy grew up on Newry Station and learnt her culture from the old people. Peggy is a highly respected senior artist at Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, teaching other artists as well as contributing to leadership of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in a Director role.

Born: 1971

Region: Keep River N.T. & Timber Creek N.T.

Jan Gunjaka Griffiths is a dedicated and prolific artist primarily working across painting, ceramics and poetry. Her work explores personal family narratives which have also included multi-media installations, fashion and photography. Jan has exhibited extensively and presented ceramic demonstrations at galleries and festivals within Australia such as the Ceramics Triennial. She was a finalist in the 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), the 2020 Indigenous Fashion Awards, and exhibited at the 2021 Indian Ocean Craft Triennial.

Born: 1970

Region: Keep River N.T. & Timber Creek N.T.

Dora Griffiths was born in Kununurra. She has worked as a teacher’s aid and as a secretary. She has also worked at the Women’s Centre and I have been their chairperson. She started at Waringarri Arts as the artist support worker, helping all the old people mix paints. After a while, she started painting too. She completed the ANKA Arts-worker Extension program in 2012 and has learnt many industry skills. Dora has worked at the art centre as the Administration, a Gallery Assistant , curator and is currently the the Chair. She takes pride in following in the footsteps of her elders and loves to learn about Country, culture and art from the old people.

Born: 1954

Region: Ngamoowalem

Agnes Armstrong was born beside a billabong on Ivanhoe Station. She grew up with the old people. They taught her lots about hunting and bush foods. When Agnes was young, she worked at Ivanhoe station doing housework and gardening. Agnes Armstrong’s paintings embrace the stories of her childhood years in delightful and often naïve interpretations. She shares her memories of growing up on stations, bushlife and the stories taught by her grandparents. Her images connect story, place and childhood memory. Her works have been acquired by a number of public institutions across the country, including the Art Gallery of NSW and Art Gallery of Western Australia. Agnes is a highly respected Elder and speaker of the Miriwoong language.

Born: 1949

Region: Bilbijim

Ben Ward was born at Ben Wajaja Ranyngayarri at Argyle Downs Station at Behn Creek, hence his name. His family all worked on the station and he lived there until he was 10. After Ben left school he worked as a mechanic and it was the shop owner’s wife who taught Ben how to paint in watercolour. In 1964 he worked on Carlton Station mustering cattle then later studied nursing to take a position at the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service. A great speaker, Ben was strongly involved in land rights and community issues. He worked for the Aboriginal Development Commission and officially opened Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in the 1980s. It wasn’t until 2011 that Ben began painting regularly and carving at the centre. His painting practice focuses on depicting his Country and memories of when he was a young man mustering cattle, from his own unique perspective.

Born: 1994

Region: Newry Station N.T & Victoria River Downs N.T

Cathy Ward grew up mostly around the old people. She was raised by Peggy and A. Griffiths who taught her about culture and painting, and raised her to be a good mum to her kids. Cathy “grew up” at Waringarri Arts. Both her father’s and mother’s side of the family are strong artists. She remembers running around the centre when she was as young as 6 years old. She started painting when she was 10, and now also work in ceramics and textiles. Cathy is currently pursuing textiles and painting, and her goal is to be an artist for the rest of her life and teach her children about their culture and pass down knowledge.

Born: 1960

Region: Gibb River

Betty Bundamurra was born at Karunji station where her father was a stockman. She was born in the bush while her parents were on a walkabout. At the age of three, after the death of her mother, Betty came to Kalumburu Mission Convent where she was looked after by Ignatia Ganwalla and the nuns. She worked in the mission baking bread and at the Kalumburu school as a teaching aid. Betty has five children and eleven grand-children, and has lived happily with her family in Kalumburu. Along with other Kalumburu community elders, she established the Kira Kiro Artists centre in 2009. Betty is a prolific artist with a unique visual expression, a storyteller and a poet. She also held the position of senior arts worker at Kira Kiro Artists from 2012 to 2019. Betty is a graduate of the ANKA Arts-worker Extension Program and the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s Desert River Sea Visual Arts Leadership program. Betty was selected as a finalist in the 2023 National and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

Born: 1979

Region: Mulan, Lake Gregory

David Brown was born in Perth but grew up in Mulan and went to school there before returning to Perth high school. His mother, Ivy Robertson, was an artist at the art centre in Balgo. After school, David went west of Alice Springs to spend time with his Dad and his family at Kiwirrkurra community. He watched the old people paint there. David enjoyed living in Kiwirrkurra and learnt much from his grandfather about his Country, particularly from famous Papunya Tula artist Uta Uta Tjangala. As an adult, David painted occasionally for Papunya Tula when he visited Kiwirrkurra, but now primarily paints at Waringarri Arts where his landscapes are distinctive and a testament to his natural artistic flair.

Born: 1979

Louise Malarvie is an artist developing a repertoire of images to reflect the cultural learning taught to her by the elders of her family. Committed to her cultural tradition and its expression, Louise explores an individual interpretation of colour and composition to best translate her cultural learning. Born to notable Southeast Kimberley artists Billy Duncan and Bessie Malarvie, Louise was exposed to artistic expression from an early age. Encouraged by the close-knit community of her people after the loss of Bessie, Louise has taken it upon herself to safeguard the ancient knowledge of her mother’s land and lore. Louise was the Emerging Artist winner of the National and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2022.

Born: 1978

Region: Lakuwang

Nathan Thomas was born and raised in Halls Creek. His grandmother, Lorna Thomas, was an artist at Warmun and she inspired him to paint and create all sorts of art from a young age. Nathan used to win art competitions in school when growing up. He enjoys wood carving, boab nut painting, drawing and is passionate about learning more. Nathan is an Arts Worker at Waringarri Arts where he supports the production of ceramic boabs, amongst other artistic activity.

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.