Desert River Sea

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Media ReleaseS

23 October 2018

8 November 2018
22 January 2019

Opening Celebration

Sat 9 Feb 2019




Desert River Sea - Sibosado


Desert River Sea: POrtraits of the Kimberley

the exhibition experience

9 February - 27 May 2019 | FREE





Desert River Sea: Portraits of the Kimberley is the highly anticipated culmination of the Art Gallery of WA’s six-year Kimberley visual arts project, supported by Rio Tinto, Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then and Now.

This landmark exhibition showcasing the vibrant and contemporary creative talent of Kimberley artists opens with a cultural celebration on 9 February 2019.

New works from six Kimberley art centres and three independent artists will be presented alongside a selection of legacy works from art centre collections. Together with works from AGWA’s collection, the exhibition offers a rare experience of the land, artists and art of the Kimberley.

Daniel Walbidi Wirnpa 2016-2019 (detail)

Art Centres/Artists involved in the exhibition:
• Daniel Walbidi (Bidyadanga)
• Darrell & Garry Sibosado (Lombadina)
• Kira Kiro Art Centre (Kalumburu)
• Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency (Fitzroy Crossing)
• Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre (Mowanjum)
• Waringarri Aboriginal Arts (Kununurra)
• Warlayirti Artists (Balgo)
• Warmun Art Centre (Warmun)

The exhibition has been shaped by the people and the places of the Kimberley. Artists and art centres have embraced the opportunity to share their stories of country and lived experience through innovative contemporary art practice.



Opening Cultural Celebration
10am-5pm, Saturday 9 February 2019 | FREE

Join us for an unmissable celebration of Kimberley art and culture with artist talks, art demonstrations, cultural performances, and family activities.

Learn about the art of pearl shell carving with the Sibosado brothers – Darrell and Garry, and bush-dying with natural materials with Eva and Ivy Nargoodah.

Hear from Mowanjum Arts on ochre crushing and Wandjina rock art education, or watch Mervyn Street of Mangkaja Arts carve and shave a cow hide. Waringarri Aboriginal Arts will demonstrate boab nut carving.


AGWA and art centre curators, along with artists will talk about their experiences across the day.


Listen to live music by David Pigram and browse handmade items including carved pearl shells, dyed silks, textiles, and jewellery at the AGWA Shop.




Visit Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then and Now for all the details on the project and artists involved.




Project Partner                                                       

Rio Tinto logo

Funding Partners

Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries        Australia Council for Arts

This project is supported by the State Government through the Royalties for Regions program and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.


Perth Festival logo    Wesfarmers Arts logo

Presented in association with Perth Festival


Garry Sibosado
Aalingoon (Rainbow Serpent) 2018 (detail)
ochre pigment on engraved pearl shell
thirty-four parts, 182 x 28 cm (overall)
Photo: Michael Jalaru Torres at Kooljaman Beach, 2018

Daniel Walbidi

Wirnpa 2016–2019 (detail)

sand installation and digital video

dimensions variable

Courtesy the artist and Short Street Gallery

Sonia Kurarra

at Danggu Geikie Gorge with artwork Noonkanbah Highway 2018 (detail)
synthetic polymer on cow hide
140 x 268 cm
Courtesy Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency



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