Skip to content
  • 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission
  • Shop

Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route featured stories and stunning artworks from senior and emerging Aboriginal artists and traditional custodians who returned to their Country in Australia’s Western Desert.

This website includes all artworks from the Yiwarra Kuju exhibition, which was developed by the National Museum of Australia and FORM.


Meet the artists behind Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route.

Meet the artists

Aboriginal stories

The Canning Stock Route is a track that was developed on Aboriginal homelands as mining and pastoral industries expanded in Western Australia.

Yiwarra Kuju tells the story of the route’s impact, and the importance of the Country around it, interpreted through Aboriginal eyes and voices. It is a story of contact, conflict and survival, of exodus and return. Above all, it is a story of family, culture and Country.

International tour

The Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route display created in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been seen in more than 40 countries. In 2020, the collection and this important national story had been shared with over 1.6 million people worldwide.

Works from the Canning Stock Route collection toured Japan in 2016–17 in the exhibition One Road: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Deserts.

Explore more on Yiwarra Kuju

22 Sep 2010

Walyja: family and art history in the Canning Stock Route Collection

The Canning Stock Route, combined with the concept of Walyja (family), acts as a prism through which it is possible to trace both the human and the subsequent artistic movements that characterised the far Western Desert region in the 20th century.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: John Carty

08 Dec 2010

Country, memory and art: Understanding Indigenous art

Anthropologists Howard Morphy and John Carty, and senior curator Mike Pickering, discuss Indigenous art from the Western Desert and Arnhem Land, and how art from both regions reflects concepts of Country, family and memory.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: Howard Morphy, John Carty and Dr Michael Pickering


Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route exhibition was a joint initiative between the National Museum of Australia and FORM. It was supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

The exhibition was on show at:

  • National Museum of Australia in Canberra from 30 July 2010 to 26 January 2011
  • Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Western Australia, 2 to 27 November 2011
  • Australian Museum, Sydney, 17 December 2011 to 29 April 2012
  • Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland from 25 May to 14 July 2013.

A smaller version of Yiwarra Kuju was on show at the Boola Bardip Western Australian Museum from 30 November 2020 to 23 November 2021. Another version, Kaninjaku: Stories from the Canning Stock Route, was on show at the National Museum in Canberra from 5 August 2015 until 17 April 2017.

Return to Top