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The Road to the Desert Mob 2018

Most years I travel back home to Australia to visit the Desert Mob, one of the most important Aboriginal Art and cultural events. This time I had the chance to visit many wonderful exhibitions and explore the ancient Aboriginal cave drawings in Kimberly.

I arrived in Sydney and was greeted by a beautiful warm winter morning and made my way to my sisters home at Oyster Bay, where I have been woken every morning by the inimitable sound of the Kukkaburra.

I could hardly wait to see the new APY Art Centre and wasn’t disappointed, fabulous work by Tjala Arts, Kaltjiti Arts, Mimili Maku Arts, Ernabella Arts, Iwantja Arts, Tjungu Palya and Tjala Arts.

The MCA at Circular Quay has the most amazing exhibition of Barks by the master of all Masters, John Mawurndjul. The 160-odd works (all chosen by Mawurndjul for inclusion in the exhibition) have been taken from 63 private and public collections in Australia and abroad. The exhibition's structure arranges the works in clusters by kunred (his places of special cultural significance), with a separate section for spirits and animals.


My sister was flying to Darwin for work, so I took the opportunity to tag along to spend a few days exploring the Kimberly. Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park covers a vast area of escarpment country, including 13 gorges carved from the ancient sandstone country. The area has the most wonderful Aboriginal Rock Art. Butterfly Gorge, a quiet shaded gorge with rocky walls that are home to thousands of butterflies, not forgetting the crocodiles. The Jawoyn and Dagomen people are the lands traditional owners.

Next, off to Melbourne, my last stop before Desert Mob!

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