Ngaanyatjarra: Art of the Lands is a gloriously illustrated book documenting six Aboriginal art centers - Warakurna, Papulankutja, Tjarlirli, Kayili, Maruku, and Tjanpi - that make up the Western Desert Mob group in Australia. The Western Desert Mob comprises an alliance of Ngaanyatjarra art centers operating in the rich swathe of country, running west of Uluru. Their mantra of 'thriving in the living desert' encapsulates the blossoming of a distinctive regional art movement that has taken its place amongst the most highly regarded contemporary Australian art. The book combines the aesthetics of an art catalogue with the rigor of an academic art history, and contains both essays and stories of Aboriginal people's perspectives on their own artistic heritage. The Ngaanyatjarra lands hold a unique place in the art history of remote Australia, and yet, art histories of the Western Desert are dominated by the story of the genesis of desert painting at Papunya and its progression through Papunya Tula Artists. Within the last decade however, there has been a major realignment of artistic practice, with greater diversity and stunning developments in the Ngaanyatjarra lands. The book presents new histories of creative and artistic practice and expands audience understandings of the complexity, richness, and interconnectedness of people and art in the Western Desert.
Publication Date: 2/29/2012