Opening Doors The Warlukurlangu Collection and 12 of the original, famous Yuendumu School Doors at the Aboriginal Art Museum
WARLUKURLANGU ARTISTS ABORIGINAL ASSOCIATION website.
"The name 'Warlukurlangu' derives from an important Jukurrpa (Dreaming) and means 'belonging to fire.'
The art centre plays an important role within the community by providing a variety of cultural maintenance and educational activities. With the ongoing work of a dedicated elected Committee, Warlukurlangu is committed to improving opportunities for the self expression and empowerment of Warlpiri people.
Established in 1985, the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Association Inc. is an Aboriginal owned and governed non-profit Art Centre located at Yuendumu Community, 300km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia.
Representing over 260 Warlpiri and Anmatjerre artists, the art centre specialises in the production of a wide range of acrylic paintings, large commissions and traditional ground installations. The Warlukurlangu Artists are renowned for their diversity and use of colour while maintaining the cultural integrity of their work.
The art centre plays an important role within the community by providing a variety of cultural maintenance and educational activities.. With the ongoing work of a dedicated elected committee, Warlukurlangu is committed to improving opportunities for the self expression and empowerment of Warlpiri people.
In recent years the work of Warlukurlangu Artists has featured in exhibitions hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria, M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; the Glasgow Museum, Scotland and the Gifu Museum of Fine Arts, Japan and the Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht.
In 1983, five artists, including Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, Paddy Japaljarri Sims and Roy Jupurrurla Curtis (other artists are deceased) painted 30 school doors with Dreaming designs, negotiating the content with other Warlpiri men and women who also collectively owned the designs. Twenty-seven Dreamings were represented on the Doors, referring to more than two hundred sites in Warlpiri and Anmatjerre territory.
During the early 1980s many of these places were only just becoming accessible to Warlpiri again through the land rights process. In this way, the Doors represented more than affirmation of the artists' links with country; they indicated the readiness of the artists to assume the political and social repsonsibilities for those places.
The painted Doors were also intended to remind the Yuendumu schoolchildren of a web of sites and obligations extending across their country. The Doors remained at Yuendumu, resisting erasure for 12 years despite the desert wind and sun, and robust treatment from Warlpiri schoolchildren.
In 1987, Warlukurlangu Artists in association with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, produced 'Kuruwarri: Yuendumu Doors' book. Featuring colour photographs, descriptions of the Dreamings in Warlpiri and English, iconographic explanations and maps, this book is available from Warlukurlangu Artists for AUD$30 plus postage.
Now the Doors are unhinged. The entire series of 30 are held in trust by the South Australian Museum, whose association with the Warlpiri people extends back to the generation of first contact with Europeans earlier this century."