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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, and toured Australia from 2010 to 2013.


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

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

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. This includes Mexico, where it coincided with  celebrations marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Mexico.

Explore more on Yiwarra Kuju

The Canning Stock Route collection

The works in this collection were painted in 2007 and tell the story of the Canning Stock Route’s impact on Aboriginal people, and the importance of the Country that surrounds it, through the works of senior and emerging artists and the stories of traditional custodians. It is a story of contact, conflict and survival, of exodus and return, seen through Aboriginal eyes, and interpreted through their voices, art and new media.

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.
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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.
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Presenters: Howard Morphy, John Carty and Dr Michael Pickering

A smaller version of the exhibition, Kaninjaku: Stories from the Canning Stock Route, was on show at the National Museum in Canberra from 2015 to 2017.

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