The Western Desert area includes the communities of Kintore, Kiwikurra, Balgo and Papunya. In the 1950’s and 60’s many aboriginal people were forcibly moved into combined settlements to make way for arms testing by the British and Australian Military. In the mid 1970’s there was a government push for Aboriginal self determination and for a return t the home lands.
In Papunya the support of teacher Geoffery Bardon in establishing painting as an effective way of story telling brought together many senior, community leaders who were employed as groundsmen at the school. The first works were painted on canvas boards and later on loose linen or canvas. Initially it was the men who painted but the women from the western desert now produce the most amazing, textural and colourful work. Ningura Naparula, Makinti Napananka, Dorothy Napangardi, Warlungkurra Napananka, Nancy Ross and Kayi Kayi Nampitjinpa to mention a few.
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