Warlayirti Art Centre, established in 1987 is one of Australia’s leading indigenous art centres, located in the Balgo Community. It represents more than 200 artists. Many of the artists from this community have now emerged as some of Australia’s leading contemporary indigenous artists, contributing to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the Kutjungka region. The arts centre is the only organisation in the region that offers indigenous people the opportunity to participate in the market economy, and is where the artists gather daily to paint, chatter and drink tea.
Painting in this community began in 1979 when the Papunya region became economically successful, and some of the Papunya artists had family connections at Balgo. The women saw the economic benefits from arts centres in other communities, and felt they could bring the benefits to Balgo. The Balgo Hills ‘style’ evolved with the use of bright colours, dynamic patterns, and a series of juddering, overlapping dots that became known as ‘the Balgo line’. This style had evolved from the use of traditional ochres to the brighter acrylic paints.
Eubena Nampitjin was one of the best known Warlayirti Artists.