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A colour photo of Paddy Japalajarri Stewart's hands.
The hands of Paddy Japaljarri Stewart. Photo: Vanessa Bertagnole

A display of important early works from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, in celebration of the institute's 50th anniversary. This exhibition was produced by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the Australian National University and Warlpiri communities.

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future was on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra from 15 August 2014 to 28 June 2015 and then at Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Casuarina campus, Darwin, Northern Territory from 5 August to 23 October 2015.

About Warlpiri Drawings

Warlpiri Drawings tells the story of an intriguing collection of Indigenous artworks created by Warlpiri people in Australia's Northern Territory in the 1950s and beyond.

'Yawaki (Bush Plum) Dreaming', 2011, by Jerry Jangala Patrick, Lajamanu.
Yawaki (Bush Plum) Dreaming by Jerry Jangala Patrick


Yuwa! Yapa-patu, Yurtumu-wardingki, Lajamanu-wardingki, nyurrula karnalunyarra pardupardu-mani nganimparlu nyampukurra Museum-kirra

Hey! All you Warlpiri people from Yuendumu and Lajamanu, we greet you with enthusiasm as you come here, to the Museum.

Background Discover why this exhibition is about things that we know, and things that we don’t know, and probably never will.
Sound and vision Explore videos from the Walpiri people and listen to public talks about Walpiri Drawings.
Drawings Discover how drawing has been used to make sense of 80 years of monumental change.

A message from Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation

We are really proud and happy to share with everyone these drawings made a long time ago by our elders. We hope that these drawings will help people understand what Aboriginal people went through during the early years of first contact.

I am also an artist and I am always amazed by the power of art and its ability to help us share our stories and culture.

We hope you enjoy this exhibition and maybe it will help you appreciate Aboriginal culture a bit more.

Otto Jungarrayi Sims
Chairman, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, June 2014


This exhibition was curated for the National Museum of Australia by Dr Melinda Hinkson, Australian National University, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation and Warnayaka Art and Cultural Aboriginal Corporation, Mrs Joan Meggitt, Pintupi Anmatyerre Warlpiri Media Association, and the assistance of the traditional owners and community members of Yuendumu and Lajamanu.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 1964-2014.Australian National UniversityWarlukurlangu Artists of YuendumuWarnayaka Art and Cultural Aboriginal Corporation

Companion book

The exhibition is accompanied by a book – Remembering the Future: Warlpiri Life Through the Prism of Drawing by Dr Melinda Hinkson – published by Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

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