The Desert Mob is one of the most important Aboriginal Art and cultural events. It is a wonderful show across three huge galleries that brings together Artists and Art centres from the vast regions of the Northern Territory, South and Western Australia. All of the art displayed is selected by the Aboriginal owned art centres to show their latest work and to introduce emerging artists.
The Araluen Arts centre hosts Desert Mob every September and over its' 27 year history, Desert Mob has developed into the most immediate contact between Aboriginal artists - who are often in remote desert communities - and the wider world. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists, listen to their stories and learn more about their culture. It is all the more special that this takes place in the heart of their country.
This exhibition is particularly exciting as it both upholds and celebrates the Aboriginal communities' traditions, but also provides a testing ground for the experimentation and innovation in contemporary Aboriginal Art. It is a testament to the development of the art scene that the exhibition now presents prints, photography and multimedia works alongside the more traditional crafts of painting, sculpture, weaving, wood carving and ceramics.
Alongside the exhibition, the Desert Mob also holds a Symposium. This is a day of presentations by Artists, Art Centres and special guests, who share their stories, projects and creative processes. Over the years we've seem film, animation and dance which reveal insights into the artists that we rarely find elsewhere. The Symposium provides a rich colourful context for Desert Mob, and the more I learn and understand about these incredible communities, their history and the current social context, the more I appreciate the work and how truly diverse it is.
This is an important event, working towards a wider understanding of these amazing Artists. It brings people together from all over the world not only to see the wonderful art, but also to have the opportunity to celebrate with the Aboriginal people their love of country and community.
Of course, the Desert Mob is also a fantastic place to acquire new works, and this year was no exception. Dealing directly with the artist and their communities ensures that the works are ethically purchased, as well as authentic. We will be showing the paintings we acquired from the show at our winter exhibition at The WetPaint Gallery in Stroud. Please sign up to our newsletter if you would like us to send you details when they are confirmed, or follow us on social media.
We can't wait to show you the new works!