The Exhibition

Portraits of the Kimberley

OPENS 9 Feb 2019


Desert River Sea

Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then and Now is a ground-breaking six year visual arts initiative developed by the Art Gallery of Western Australia with funding support from the Rio Tinto Community Investment Fund. Its aim is to bridge the cultural and geographic distance between Aboriginal artists of the diverse Kimberley region, the Gallery in Perth and national and international audiences, thereby forging a network of cultural and artistic exchange and understanding.

Born out of close consultation with senior artists, art centres and community members, the project includes the development of a comprehensive digital portal, a Visual Arts Leaders professional development program and research and documentation. It will conclude with a publication and landmark exhibition in 2019 celebrating the region’s art and culture.

At the heart of Desert River Sea is a focus on collaboration and partnership with an ethos of supporting long-term, sustainable outcomes for Kimberley art centres and communities.

"What this means… is nurturing the talents of both artists and art administrators to aid the sustainability and growth of established art centres. In return, the gallery will strengthen our links in the region and work alongside these centres to share the richness and diversity of their art and culture far beyond the Kimberley. We believe this model can establish best practice principles that can be replicated and applied to other art centres across the state and perhaps even further, " AGWA Director Stefano Carboni. celebrates the art of the Kimberley region, as well as its diverse cultures, the breathtaking landscapes and narratives which tell of its creation, and the people who call this country home. Over 500 artworks are displayed here. With content updated regularly, this online portal is a compelling resource for all those seeking inspiration from, and information about, Kimberley art.


Emerging Leaders

The Desert River Sea 2016 Visual Arts Leadership Program Participants with AGWA staff.

(L to R) Back row: Michael Jalaru Torres, Nancy Daylight, Lynne Hargreaves, Garry Sibosado, Amanda Smith, Betty Bundamurra, Lutisha Woolagoodja, Kirsty Burgu & Cessa Bani. Front row: Stefano Carboni, Lynley Nargoodah, Lillie Spinks, Francine Steele, Anthea Nargoodah, Selena O'Meara, Marika Riley & Rowena Morgan. © AGWA 2016


In partnership with

Rio Tinto





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