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

Warlayirti Artists

Warlayirti Artists is located in Wirrimanu community (Balgo) on the edges of the Tanami camp; Great Sandy Deserts, 300km south of Halls Creek. Warlayirti has a well-earned anda established national and international reputation for luminous acrylic paintings and limited edition original prints. As well as two galleries of artworks for sale, it is also home to a keeping place collection of significant art and objects as well as a professional recording studio. Warlayirti’s artists live in Balgo, Billiluna and Mulan, but have their home country across the deserts far to the east west and south down the Canning Stock Route. Seven different language groups are represented through Warlayirti.

Lot 1 Nyirla Warlayirti Rd, Tanami WA 6770

Featured Artists

Born: 1958

Region: Tjintalpa

Jane Gimme is the daughter of renowned indigenous artist Eubena Nampitjin (c.1929-2013). Although Jane grew up in the old Balgo mission her mother ensured that Jane continued to practice the traditions of her culture. Currently, Jane is one of the primary language speakers and often grows-up the younger ones in the local community. Like her mother, Jane applies bright colours on her canvas, and her works are ones of precision and delicate structure. She paints with reverie: her style is continually evolving. Jane has been on the Warlayirti Artist Board for many years, including being Chair and Vice Chair.

Born: 1966

Region: Wilkinkarra

Winifred was born and raised at the new Balgo Mission (current site of Balgo community). She is the daughter of renowned Warlayirti artists Tjumpo Tjapanangka (c.1929-2007) and Ningie Nanala. She has lived across the Kimberley region, spending time with her family between Mulan and Balgo communities. Winnifred has 4 girls, 1 boy and many grandchildren. Winifred has spent years learning her intricate and complex painting technique that uses layers of dots and lines to create beautiful reflections of her father’s and mother’s countries. She expertly combines her mother’s densely applied dotting with her father’s strong form.

Born: 1956

Region: Karlyapilyirra

Dulcie is the daughter of renowned Balgo artist Ningie Nanala and was grown-up by her step-father Tjumpo Tjapanangka (deceased). She began painting during 1997, and since this time has developed a diverse repertoire of image making. Like her famous parents, Dulcie often paints within the warm desert hues of yellow, orange and red. Primarily, her works relate to that of her parents’ country far to the south of Balgo near Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay), recalling the vast tracks of land with its saltpans, claypans and plentiful mangarri (bushfoods). Steeped within the Balgo tradition, Dulcie creates beautiful contemporary stylized works that invite the viewer to experience her heritage and country. Dulcie’s father returned to the desert after conflict with the missionaries in Balgo, he reunited with his Pintupi Country and families. They did not reemerge into the ‘whitefella world’ until the late 1980s, now forever known as the ‘Pintupi 9’. Currently, Dulcie along with her extensive family, resides in Balgo. She is a well-respected community member, a primary linguist for this area and continues to create her inspirational artworks. In 2019 Dulcie was the Warlayirti Artists chairperson, she continues to be an active champion of the Warlayirti Artists.

Born: 1971

Region: Pali Pali Tjilkar

Matthew commenced painting in Kintore for Papunya Tula Artist in 2001. Mathew’s family have a long history of painting. His father was renowned artist Freddy Tjudugudi West Tjakamarra (1940-1994), his mother Payu Napaltjarri (b.1952) is also a well-known artist. Matthew has exhibited extensively with Papunya Tula as well as with Warlayirti Artists. Matthew is a junior lawman who is learning important custodial men’s ceremonies. He was initiated at Kintore and participates in Tingari Law ceremonies. He currently resides in Balgo. In 2020 Matthew was voted in as chairperson of Warlayirti Artists Board and continues to serve in this role. Matthew played a significant role in raising money with Papunya Tula Artists to raise money for Purple House remote dialysis centres in Kiwirrkurra, Kintore and Balgo so families requiring dialysis can return home.

Born: 1981

Region: Balgo (Wirrimanu)

Jolene is the daughter of Robert Nanala and Wendy Wise (dec). She paints her Grandfather story – legendary Balgo artst Tjumpo Tjapananka – about Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) or her mother’s story from Canning Stock Route way. She is the partner of current Warlayirti director and former Chairperson Matthew West.

Born: 1946

Region: Nynmi, Gibson Desert

Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi is well recognised as one of Warlayirti Artists’ leading artists and is a great ambassador for the Art Centre, painting with Warlayirti Artists since the early ‘nineties. Born at Nynmi, west of Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia, Helicopter was brought up in a traditional nomadic lifestyle, learning from childhood the location of water sources and how to hunt for bush food. The time spent moving through country as a young boy has had a profound and lasting effect on Helicopter’s artistic process and practice.

Born: 1958

Region: Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) and Mangkayi, Great Sandy Desert

Pauline paints her parents’ Country. Her mother, Bai Bai Napangarti (c.1935–2020), a law woman and senior Elder of the Balgo community, is a Ngardi woman whose Country extends from Mangkayi in the Stansmore Ranges to just south of Yagga Yagga. Her late father, Sunfly Tjampitjin (c.1920–1996), was an important Kukatja law man who was born further south, at Murrunpa (the Alec Ross Range) near Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay). Pauline was born at the old Balgo Mission and was educated through the mission school. She recalls working in the kitchen, the laundry and clearing the grounds of the mission. She has spent some time in Fitzroy Crossing and has visited Broome and Alice Springs, but otherwise has remained in Balgo with her ever growing family. Pauline was introduced to painting by her mother at an early age, and has been a finalist for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) and the Kate Challis Raka Art Award, she has had two solo exhibitions including a showcase in the 2019 Tarnanthi Art Fair at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Pauline’s work is found in significant national and international collections.

Born: 1954

Region: Winpurpurla, Great Sandy Desert

Imelda walked into the Old Balgo Mission with her mother, and accomplished painter, Lucy Yukenbarri (c.1934-2003), as a small child and lived for a few years in the dormitories at the Mission. She was looked after by the nuns and has fond memories of this time. She attended the government school at Wirrimanu (Balgo) until 1969. She then lived for a short time in Beagle Bay where she met her husband. They started a family there and after her second child they moved back to Balgo and had two more children. She spent a lot of time with her mother, Lucy, who would explain the importance of passing on the stories they were painting to the children of the family. When Imelda’s husband passed away she lived in Mulan for a short time and then moved back to Balgo, where she lives now. Today she looks after her step-father and renowned artist Helicopter Tjungurrayi. Imelda is proud to carry on the legacy of the painting style and stories of her mother. As well as painting in the Art Centre every day, Imelda is an active member of the community and has served on the Warlayirti Board of Directors for many years and has travelled extensively with her art.

Born: 1951

Region: Tjukukalyu, Tanami Desert & Purkitji (Sturt Creek)

Jimmy and Angie Tchooga are a strong team. They have been married since 1972 and have five sons, one daughter and many many grandchildren. They have recently started painting collaboratively after they worked for a long time as solo artists. Jimmy creates bold lines and Angie complements his work with fine dotting. Together they make strong painting. Jimmy Tchooga is a prominent artist, a senior law man and lead singer for ceremony. Painting with strong hues, his dot work is both intentional and specific. Jimmy’s country is Tjukakarrinyu, east of Balgo in the Tanami Desert: primarily his paintings depict his Tjukurrpa, specifically his father’s creation story. Angie is a reliable and active member of the community of Balgo. She was born at Sturt Creek Station where she was raised by elders of the Tjaru people. She attended school at the Old Balgo Mission. When she completed her schooling Angie returned to Sturt Creek to work as a domestic. She has fond memories of taking the children out on bush trips during this period. Angie met her husband Jimmy on the station and they travelled to Balgo to marry. Jimmy and Angie would often migrate between Sturt Creek and Balgo until one son fell ill and they moved permanently to Balgo to be close to the clinic. Angie started painting in 1988 and her themes include waterlilies and the Tjurrkupa snake. She has travelled to Perth and Melbourne. Angie has lived in Balgo for about 20 years and misses the country of Sturt Creek, however she is still able to visit her country for hunting and fishing. Jimmy and Angie Tchooga often work collaboratively on paintings as with other things in their life. They paint at art centre most days, Jimmy is the current chairperson of Warlayirti Artists and Angie is an active member of the board.

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.