Balgo Creating Country

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Balgo: Creating Country, is a landmark publication in Aboriginal art, Australian history, and art historical scholarship.

The book tells the story of Balgo art movement, one of the most vibrant, colourful and influential schools of Western Desert painting. But to tell that story, it also tells another, the story of Balgo itself. A tiny community on the fringes of the desert, created by missionaries, and now governed by Aboriginal people. A tiny community through which the transformation of life for Aboriginal people in the 20th Century is laid bare. A place where art emerged as a response to that history. 

Balgo: Creating Country shows the birth of a painting movement in the context of thousands of years of cultural practice, breaking down the category of Aboriginal art and rebuilding it, dot by dot, into something resembling the language of a new Australian Art.


Here in Balgo. We keep our ceremonies, we visit our Country. That’s why we still live here. That’s why we paint. That story from our Tjamu and Tjatja (grandfather and grandmother). Our rockholes and waters where we used to live. We paint that. Our bush tucker and lovely bush potatoes! We paint that. Balgo is Country for all of us now. We were all born here, these generations here today. We are Wirrimanu kids. We belong to Balgo. That’s what we paint. That’s why we paint. This is our story. — Eva Nagomarra, Warlayirti Artists This beautiful monograph features countless images of full colour artworks from communities including Birrundudu, Papunya, Yuendumu and Balgo and language groups including Kukatja, Djaru, Warlpiri, Nyining, Ngarti, Wangkajunga and Manjilyjarra. It is deeply grounded in country has been put together in conjunction with the Warlayirti Arts Centre.

Author: John Carty
Publisher: UWA Publishing
Publish Date: Oct 2021
Pages: 404
Format: BB - Hardback
Dimensions: 23.4 x 28.4 cm

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