Mantamaru Artists Logo

Background

Mantamaru Artists are located in Jameson, Ngaanyatjarra Lands, WA. Papulankutja Artists have been supporting Mantamaru Artists through an outreach program supplying art materials and administrative support for over 10 years. As Mantamaru Artists is not incorporated all cataloguing, marketing and sales are processed through Papulankutja Artists.

The outreach program is supported by a permanent part-time Yarnangu arts worker whose office is located in the Jameson HACC/Women’s Centre where painting occurs. All art materials are kept in the arts worker’s office for distribution. The manager of Papulankutja Artists travels 150km round trip from Blackstone to Jameson to work with the artists every Friday and deliver materials. Occasionally, when staying in Blackstone Artists the Mantamaru artists paint with Papulankutja Artists.

Besides painting at Mantamaru there has been spinifex papermaking and more recently, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, with the assistance of Papulankutja Artists, have started distributing raffia and collecting the finished baskets and sculptures. Papulankutja Artists purchase (i.e. cash up-front) the tjanpi products on behalf of Tjanpi. During the cooler months Tjanpi hold workshops in Mantamaru to encourage production and new participants.

Located in the Women’s Centre is an impediment to attracting other community members who are or potentially interested in painting, especially the wati yirna (older men). Without a stand alone art centre, participation in painting and other visual arts activities will remain low and mainly by women.

Mantamaru Artist Painting
Mantamaru Artist Paintings
Mantamaru Artist Painting in Gallery

Current situation

In May 2020 NG Media gave permission for their media centre to be used as an art centre.

The media centre has been left unoccupied for a number of years, during which vandals have broken into on numerous occasions damaging equipment and infrastructure inside and out. Until the existing security fence is made robust and higher starting renovations is pointless. Inside needs cleaning, painting, the toilet needs repairing whilst cupboards, several sinks and benches need to be installed.

Jameson community, NG Media and Papulankutja Artists have all offered non-financial and financial assistance to refurbishment and secure the centre. Funding applications for infrastructure and support staff are being progressed by the Manager, Papulankutja Artists. Benefits to the community

Although a small facility it is an opportunity to establish a community-based enterprise driven by visual arts. Benefits to the community include:

  • providing a productive diversionary activity for community members
  • providing economic opportunities
  • facilitating the maintenance of Indigenous culture and law
  • improved social wellbeing of community members such as increased self-belief, self-empowerment, sense of belonging
  • providing professional development and training

Support organisations and stakeholders

  • Jameson Primary School
  • Jameson Community Council
  • Papulankutja Artists
  • Desart
  • Mantamaru Artists
  • Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Future opportunities

  • Exhibitions
  • Workshops
  • Attracting art trail tourism
  • Bush trips
  • Restarting spinifex paper production
  • Joint community activities with the school and CDP
  • Training to assist professional development, numeracy and literacy.