MARTUMILI ARTISTS (WESTERN DESERT)
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. After long and cautious observation of other desert artists’ experiences of the art market. 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 maintain 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 work with new and established artists, whose work showcases the diversity, integrity and strength of Martu culture. The aboriginal artwork typical of the Martu people consists of aboriginal paintings, woodcarvings, and artifacts. Martumili gives artists equitable access to national and international art markets, using accountable, best practice systems like the indigenous art code. This addresses significant issues of unethical and unscrupulous conduct in the Aboriginal art market. This also means that artworks sold by Martumili Artists are of the best quality: the cultural authority of the works is undiluted, the stories are recorded and the authenticity and provenance of the art is undisputed.