Papulankutja Artists is an Aboriginal owned non-for-profit corporation operating in Blackstone Community on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in Western Australia. Papulankutja (Blackstone) community is approximately 900kms west of Alice Springs and 1575kms north-east of Perth. The art centre like most across the Ngaanyatjarra Lands was originally a women’s centre where painting was encouraged as an activity for both men and women since the mid 1980’s. As the Aboriginal art market boomed it became necessary to establish a framework that protects the artists. Papulankutja Artists was officially established in 2003. Five years later in 2009 Papulankutja Artists moved into a purpose built art centre. The art centre until today extends services to artists in Mantamaru (Jameson) community, 75kms to the west of Papulankutja.
The art centre provides Ngaanyatjarra artists and other Anangu people the space to express a sense of purpose through creative expression in the telling of Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime), support for the social welfare and well-being of all members and a source of independent income that provides for the artists and their families. The art centre facilitates visual art projects and production in various mediums including painting, tjanpi weaving, purnu carving, jewelry made from local nuts and seeds.
The artists have participated in major collaborative exhibitions over the years including Songlines: Tracking The Seven Sisters, and Ngurra with annual participation in key industry events such as Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Revealed Exhibition for Emerging Aboriginal Artists, Desert Mob and Tarnanthi to name but a few. Papulankutja Artists are also well-known for their soap production, a unique offering of remedial healing filled with bush medicine from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.
Papulankutja Artists work closely with peak bodies Desart Incorporated and Aboriginal Art Centre Hub of Western Australia (AACHWA) to maintain strong governance of the art centre and to participate in the arts worker programs. Papulankutja Artists appreciates the ongoing support of both Desart and AACHWA to keep Aboriginal art centres strong by offering professional development opportunities for artists, artsworkers, board members and staff as well as opportunities to come together with other art centres each year. The hope of Papulankutja Artists is to continue growing and stay connected to leave a legacy of strong art and enterprise for future generations.