Art centre management

Manager: Sara Twigg-Patterson
Arts worker Mantamaru: Ethel Narelle Holland


Ownership: Papulankutja artists is a 100% artist owned and governed art centre, which supports Blackstone Community.

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Papulankutja Artists Business Plan

Papulankutja Artists Constitution


Papulankutja artists art centre

The community benefits that the art centre generates can never be underestimated.

The art centre is a safe place where artists can congregate, enjoy a catch-up, paint, eat biscuits, drink tea, acquire skills, and generally escape from the often difficult conditions of community life.


We offer employment and training to community members seeking a job as an arts worker. In this role they assist the Manager in the day-to-day running of the art centre. The role includes preparing canvases, taking photos of artwork, cataloguing on the computer, assisting the artists, up-dating social media and preparing the art works for sale. We adapt tasks and responsibilities to match the experience and capabilities of the arts worker.

Cultural maintenance

We facilitate the maintenance and renewal of Ngaanyatjarra culture in the community, and the sharing of our culture to the world beyond the community.

Ngaanyatjarra law and culture are the foundation for our visual art production and the means whereby our Ngaanyatjarra identity is recognised and celebrated.

Connection to country and ancestors is in the Yarnangu DNA, linking law, culture and Tjukurrpa about their ancestors. Taking artists on bush trips is an important function of the art centre. It enables artists to journey into Ngaanyatjarra country where attachment to country can be renewed and strengthened. These trips provide artists with vital cultural stimulation, inspiration and rekindle story-telling. Artists with strong connections to country play a major role facilitating the maintenance of law and culture within the Yarnangu community.

A place of work

We provide an opportunity for the Yarnangu people to generated income. The money earnt by the artists is mostly returned to the community through the store and family. We protect the economic integrity of the artist and their artworks through partnerships with the Arts Law Centre of Australia and the Copyright Agency.

Sales & marketing

We sell art work through partnerships with national and international galleries; online through our website and other commercial websites; and visitors to Blackstone who come to our art centre and gallery shop.

We sell wholesale and direct and have organised commercial licence agreements for artists where art works are reproduced on items. The artists receive royalty payments when their art is used on these commercial goods.

Strengthening the community

A strong art centre means a healthy community. The art centres play a role in community social support. As the future of communities lies with its youth, artists are seeking ways to engage young people in art centre activities to assist in the prevention of substance abuse and other health issues.

We work with schools in our region to teach culture and visual arts. Together we develop joint special projects to engage young people in traditional culture.

Place of learning

Artists and executive members are educators, mentors and facilitators. The art centre is where people can learn about the ‘money story’ and how to manage their career; learn how to ‘walk in two worlds’. We offer Community Development Program places for participants to learn new skills and participate in beneficial work.

Place of respite and care

We provide a safe place for older people and women, where they can find company, a cup of tea and support. We also provide informal support, from translating documents to arranging accommodation, providing food, trips out bush, transport and online banking.

Artists paint at more than one art centre

The Ngaanyatjarra Lands (NG Lands) although encompassing an area of 159,948 square kilometres, is really one large community with established permanent settlements or communities where people live based on their connections to land.

They are many places where they can go and sit down for a while – there’s their permanent home in their community, their homeland or country, and homes of relatives in other communities in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Yarnangu (people of Ngaanyatjarra origin) regularly visit their relatives and extended family for long periods of time. This can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to twelve months. Family connections and obligations are very important as they shape who you are.

The artists are very transient, painting at one or all of the art centres in the NG Lands during their lifetime. They may paint with art centres over the border if family origins are strong. The coming and going of artists is part of the natural flow underpinning art centres.

This is why we are working together as one big art centre family. We do not compete, we complement each other, share talent and techniques, tell different versions of the same stories, keep culture in the minds of the next generation and bring to life our traditions.