Tjarlirli Art represents the artists of Tjukurla in the Ngannyatjarra lands of Western Australia, known as the NPY lands, close to the border of the Northern Territory. We are thrilled and excited to present such a special collection of works to British art collectors. Tjarlirli art only began to flourish in 2008 when important collectors and curators began to notice the artists’ raw and unique style. I have been constantly surprised and elated to watch the art practice of these extraordinary Western Desert painters evolve and develop for the past twelve years. It is also a great experience to work with the community managers and art professionals, working with Tjarlirli, to supply the artists with materials and facilitate exhibitions across Australia and throughout the world.
It is into an enormously complex situation that Aboriginal artists paint and their agents trade those paintings into the global art market. Aboriginal art from remote communities has a profusion of roles to play in terms of identity, creativity, economic opportunity and exchange across immense cultural difference.
Tim Acker, 2009
This small community at Tjukurla of only about 100 people, is more than 250 kilometers from the nearest petrol station or shop of any kind! The roads are just rough red dirt tracks and communications generally unreliable, so the managers here face many challenges in promoting and showcasing these artists work. In titling the exhibition TJARLIRLI ROCKS, we are both making reference to the outstanding and dynamic nature of these works, but in a duality of meaning making a nod to the subject matter at the heart of all this work. Tjarlirli art is named after a rockhole of great cultural significance to the community – a sacred site north of the Tjukurla. The artists’ connection to the formations and rock’s of their landscape are at the heart of their making.
Today, artwork from Tjarlirli is commanding the attention of discerning buyers and has been acquired by a number of major collections in Australia and abroad. We look forward to sharing these paintings with you here at JGM Gallery.
– Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi
Courtesy of JGM Gallery, London