Get To Know These Up-And-Coming Indigenous Artists In WA

By Isabelle Spencer
7th May 2020

A hand painting on canvas.

These up-and-coming artists have some serious wow-factor with their remarkable Aboriginal art, but not as you know it. With mediums like graphic design, digital illustration, sculpture and ceramics, as well as the classic acrylic paint and beyond—we’re seeing traditional Dreamtime art taken to whole new levels as well as brand new cultural material. Excited? So are we.

Without further ado, we would like to introduce you to 9 of this year’s new and emerging WA Aboriginal artists. Go on, say g’day.

Buffie Corunna

Independent Artist

Noongar woman, Buffie Corunna, is throwing around some pretty sensational art through her business, Gungurra. Born in Albany, Buffie is influenced by family and her cultural connections. Working across a range of mediums, we can’t get enough of her Yarning Circle earrings range. These beautiful homemade pieces pay homage to a traditional part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Colleen Drage

Ku’arlu Mangga (Good Nest) Aboriginal Art Centre

Born and raised in Ajana on the Murchison River, Colleen Drage is living proof that if you want something done, you ask a busy woman. She is involved in running just about every community program under the sun and is even a founding member of Ku’arlu Mangga (Good Nest) Aboriginal Art Centre and Northampton Old School. As one of the leading artists, this is where the magic happens and she brings her Aboriginal community closer. Oh, and did we mention that she also raises five children? Our kind of Wonder Woman.

Desmond Taylor

Martumili Artists

You haven't heard a powerful story until you've heard Desmond Taylor’s. Desmond was born close to the Oakover River before moving into Jigalong soon after and being one of the last Martu to live entirely in the desert with access to rations. Desmond translates his experiences on Country into works of aerial-mapping and Dreamtime stories, incorporating a common theme of red sand dunes and inland river systems. Desmond loves sharing the stories and histories of each piece with the buyer, so why not treat yourself to some art and a story at the same time?

Elaine Lane

Warakurna & Kayili Artists

If you don’t know this name already, it’s one you’re going to want to remember. Elaine Lane is a senior artist from Papulankutja Community who paints with Warakurna Artists through the Painting Therapy Program run out of Wanarn Aged Care. With works featuring vibrant colours straight out of an interior decorator’s dream, there’s no better way to bring a piece of Blackstone country into your home.  

Lorna Dawson

Spinifex Hill Artists

Lorna Dawson’s reason for taking up painting is one that resonates with all of us in this day and age: “It helped me get through my bad days”. Lorna’s collection is made up of dot paintings like we’ve never seen before. The closer you get to the painting, the closer your jaw gets to the floor. The detail in her works is exquisite and we’re so here for it.

Marika Mung

Warmun Art Centre

It’s no secret that artistic talent runs through Marika Mung’s blood. Marika is the youngest daughter of renowned Warmun artist Beerbee Mungnari. Mungnari was Mung's teacher and mentor and she paints the Country her father mustered cattle through as a young man. Keep your eyes peeled for big things to come from this vibrant young artist.

Rita Watson

Ninuku Arts

We are deadly serious when we say you need to familiarise yourself with Rita Watson. Now. She is the daughter of renowned Irrunytju artist, Tjuruparu Watson and her artworks are heavily influenced by her father’s Country, Illurpa. We are still swooning at her iconographic designs using a combination of soft, feminine colours with bold graphics. Safe to say that we are also in love with Rita’s glass vase works.

Tyrown Waigana

Independent Artist

We’ve got our eyes on Tyrown Waigana, an emerging artist and designer with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. With a Bachelor of Arts majoring in graphic design, advertising and illustration and photography, there’s nothing traditional about this art—and it’s fantastic. Practicing under the brand and business Crawlin Crocodile, Tyrown brings his culture to life through animation.

Maureen Nelson

Minyma Kutjara

Maureen Nelson works in both sculpture and painting to tell stories of her local community and Country. To get a taste of Maureen’s quirky style, look no further than her 2020 sculptural piece titled, ‘Joyrider’. She speaks fondly of the story behind the car and travelling to all her favourite places. With a knack for sparking a feeling of nostalgia in all, we can’t wait to see Maureen’s future works.

Want more? Check out these jackets with a voice.

Image credit: Spinifex Hill Artists

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