About Warmun Community and Warmun Art Centre
Warmun Community (Turkey Creek) is located approximately 200kms south of Kununurra in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is the largest community in Gija country and is surrounded by a number of Gija outstation communities. The community has a population of between 400 to 600 people, depending on the season (the community population swells in the wet season).
Warmun is well known as the home of some of Australia’s leading artists. In 1998 the community established Warmun Art Centre:
“Warmun artists are renowned for their use of natural ochre and pigments on canvas, which is integral to the contemporary expression of land and culture as identity for Gija people. The work of Warmun artists’ is an inseparable and celebratory part of Gija culture and country, and draws on traditional Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming) stories and contemporary life. Warmun art has a national and international reputation thanks to the leadership of highly successful Warmun artists like Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie, George Mung Mung and Paddy Jaminji. Now internationally renowned painters Lena Nyadbi, Patrick Mung Mung, Mabel Juli, Shirley Purdie, Madigan Thomas, Gordon Barney, Phyllis Thomas, Churchill Cann and Betty Carrington lead the way for a group of more than sixty emerging and younger artists currently painting for the art centre. This new generation of Warmun artists works with the same, time-honoured materials and stories. The emerging works display a fresh, original and vibrant style that transcends cultural boundaries and places many Warmun artists at the forefront of contemporary art in Australia.” Source: http://warmunart.com.au.
In March 2011 the community was devastated by flash floods, wiping out houses, services and flooding the art centre which lost many paintings. This lead to a period of dislocation as Warmun residents were moved to temporary accommodation in Kununurra for many months as the rebuilding of the community began.
Ground Up is proud to be able to work in partnership with Gija people to deliver outcomes that are important to Gija people, and have the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.