Phyllis Ningarmara – Woorrewoorrem (Wet Season), 2013 – 180 x 80cm Natural ochre and pigments on canvas © The Artist

Phyllis Ningarmara – Woorrewoorrem (Wet Season), 2013 – 180 x 80cm Natural ochre and pigments on canvas © The Artist

Version Francaise drapeau_francais

Waringarri Artists: Raison d’être –
Our country, our culture, our art

“It’s who we are, it’s what we are”

The exhibition is accompanied by a program of free public educational events:
For more information and booking: access the events program

Access the gallery of images presenting the exhibited artworks, as well as photos documenting the artists, the country and the ceremonies of the Miriwoong people.


Curated by IDAIA – International Development for Australian Indigenous Art, Raison d’être is the first exhibition in Europe dedicated to Waringarri Artists, the Aboriginal-owned artist cooperative located in the heart of Miriwoong country at Kununurra, in the North-East Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Coinciding with the Autumn Art Festival in Versailles, it gathers a selection of superb ochre paintings by emerging and leading artists, including Phyllis Ningarmara, Minnie Lumai, Mignonette Jamin, Judy Mengil and Alan Griffiths.

Presenting their vibrant and colourful contemporary visions of their Miriwoong country and culture, and celebrating the artistic community’s vitality, the exhibition is conceived as an echo to the current exhibitions in Europe involving Australian Indigenous artists:

Australia the Royal Academy of Arts in London, exploring the Australian landscape;
Gija Manambarram Jimerrawoon: Gija Senior Law People Forever at the Australian Embassy in Paris, presenting the Kimberley artists of Warmun ;
Vivid Memories: An Aboriginal Art History at the Musée d’Aquitaine de Bordeaux, France, demonstrating the transformations and the dynamism of this artistic tradition.


The Waringarri Artists
Established in the early 1980s by senior artists, the artist cooperative of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts is renowned both for the richness of its artistic production and for the remarkable creative undertakings of its artists. Custodians of historical artistic practices, the Waringarri artists are aware of the importance of anchoring their identity and heritage into the contemporary world while preserving and keeping ancient traditions alive. Their artworks wonderfully combine tradition and innovation, ritual memory and a surge towards the future. Indeed, Waringarri Artists perpetuate and pass on the age-old technique of ochre painting, still making their own pigments from white and yellow clays, or stones and rocks which they often find in the sacred locations of Miriwoong country and then crush by hand. But they also constantly explore new representational possibilities to depict their land and orchestrate the Ngarranggarni or Dreaming which is expressed on their canvases.

Detailed presentation of the exhibition in English upon request.

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Read IDAIA’s October Chronique Curatoriale presenting the latest developments for Aboriginal Art on the international art scene.