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One Road

Warning: Please note this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Clifford Brooks

‘To tell our story to the world, we do it by painting.’ Clifford Brooks, Aboriginal artist, 2007.

One Road: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Deserts

Explore the impact that one road — the Canning Stock Route — had on the Aboriginal people from one of the most remote areas of Australia, in this exhibition from the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

A group shot of people standing on a red dirt road.
Birriliburu artists and team members on the Canning Stock Route. Photo: Tim Acker, 2007.

Touring Japan in 2016 and 2017

One Road: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Deserts features more than 30 contemporary works from leading artists including Rover Thomas, Jan Billycan and Helicopter Tjungurrayi.

One Road is on show in Osaka, Takamatsu, Tokyo and Hokkaido. More tour details below

The exhibition is based on Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route, the most successful exhibition staged by the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

One Road tells the artists’ stories of first contact with white men, livestock and machines. It explores the change from hunter–gatherer existence to life as international artists.

One Road Japanese website

pdfOne Road Japanese prospectus (PDF 6.3mb)

A selection of artworks on show

Kunkun, 2008, acrylic on linen painting
Kunkun, 2008, acrylic on linen, 294 x 124.5 cm, by Nora Nangapa, Nora Wompi, Bugai Whylouter and Kumpaya Girgaba, Martumili Artists. National Museum of Australia.

Tour dates and venues in Japan

  • Kushiro City Museum of Art, Hokkaido, 7 April to 7 May 2017

Media release: Iconic Canning Stock Route paintings tour Japan

Past tours

  • National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, 9 June to 19 July 2016
  • Kagawa Prefecture Museum, Kagawa, 5 August to 19 September 2016
  • Ichihara Lakeside Museum, Chiba, Tokyo, 1 October 2016 to 9 January 2017

More resources

Warlayirti artist Elizabeth Nyumi painting at Kilykily (Well 36). Photo: Tim Acker, 2007.
Warlayirti artist Elizabeth Nyumi painting at Kilykily (Well 36).

Yiwarra Kuju exhibition website

The One Road exhibition is based on Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route. Yiwarra Kuju was developed by the National Museum of Australia and FORM and toured Australia from 2010 to 2013.

Yiwarra Kuju featured 100 artworks which told the story of the Canning Stock Route’s impact on Aboriginal people, and the importance of the country that surrounds it.

One Road includes select works from Yiwarra Kuju.

Explore the Yiwarra Kuju: Canning Stock Route story

Kaningarra 2007
Kaningarra, 2007, Manmarr Daisy Andrews, Mangkaja Arts. National Museum of Australia.

Canning Stock Route collection

The Canning Stock Route collection includes more than 100 canvasses produced by artists who travelled the stock route on a return to country in Western Australia in 2007.

The National Museum’s Canning Stock Route collection also includes additional artworks and objects, added to the collection in 2009.Explore the collection online

Wikirri, 2007, acylic on linen painting
Wikirri, 2007, Jakayu Biljabu, Martumili Artists. National Museum of Australia.

Apps and education

There are also two apps which allow audiences to explore the exhibition in more detail:

One Road web-based app on the Canning Stock Route Project website (free)

One Road smart-phone app on iTunes ($1.99)

The exhibition has been popular with school groups in Australia, with students of all ages wanting to learn about Aboriginal art and culture. The National Museum of Australia has developed:

Education kit for Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route

Prospectus

International Program

The National Museum of Australia has established a strong and vibrant international travelling exhibitions program, which supplies high quality, innovative and accessible exhibitions and displays to the world. The Museum is committed to enabling a greater understanding of Australian culture and history, particularly Indigenous culture.

One Road: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Deserts is a touring exhibition developed by the National Museum to bring the artistic, cultural and natural worlds of the Aboriginal people of Australia’s remote deserts to an international audience.

More on the Museum’s International Program


The One Road project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund.

Australian Government Catalyst - Australian Arts and Culture Fund