Desert Mob to Return to Mparntwe/Alice Springs in 2023

Desart, the peak body for Central Australian Aboriginal Art Centres, has announced that Desert Mob will return to Mparntwe /Alice Springs from Thursday 7 September – Sunday 22 October, 2023.

A vibrant statement of contemporary cultural expression, the Desert Mob 2023 exhibition will be co-curated by Hetti Kemarr Perkins (Arrernte and Kalkadoon) and Aspen Nampin Beattie (Luritja, Warumungu and Yawuru) bringing together hundreds of new works by emerging and established artists.

For its 32nd edition, Desert Mob 2023 will feature the work of 34 art centres with each art centre selecting the work to be shown. This unique exhibition and related events brings together communities from a geographic area that spans 1.221 million kilometres and sixteen languages.

Opening on Thursday 7 September, 2023 at the Araluen Arts Centre in Mparntwe / Alice Springs the event will provide an unmissable opportunity to share in the art and stories of the world’s oldest living culture. The 2023 event marks the second year in Desert Mob’s 32-year history of First Nations ownership, with Desart assuming management in 2022. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of Desart.

“Desart is delighted to again present Desert Mob in Mparntwe and celebrate Aboriginal art and culture in the heart of the desert,” said Philip Watkins, CEO of Desart.

“For over three decades Desert Mob has presented an exhibition of artworks selected by art centres to represent their communities. As well as exhibiting 34 art centres in 2023, we welcome back the Symposium and again present the popular Marketplace – and an expanded program of public activities and satellite events across the opening weekend and throughout the exhibition.

Desert Mob is a unique opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the rich diversity of our culture and celebrate in Mparntwe with artists from desert communities across Central Australia.”

Returning for the first time since 2019, the Desert Mob Symposium will be hosted on Friday 8 September at the Araluen Arts Centre presenting a rare opportunity for audiences to hear firsthand from Aboriginal artists about their work, projects, family and country. A day of presentations by art centres and special guests, the symposium will offer rich context to the event through presentations, interviews, film, and performance.

The vibrant Desert Mob Marketplace art market will take place on Saturday 9 September at the Araluen Arts Centre with paintings, ceramics, punu, weaving, sculpture, textiles, clothing, jewellery and homewares from Aboriginal owned art centres across Central Australia. An opportunity to experience the diversity of the artworks and acquire work directly from artists, the art market will include food stalls, workshops and performances.



Arlpwe Art & Culture Centre – Ali Curung NT

Artists of Ampilatwatja – Ampilatwatja NT

Barkly Regional Arts – Tennant Creek NT

Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists – Mparntwe (Alice Springs) NT

Ernabella Arts, Pukutja (Ernabella) SA

Greenbush Art Group – Mparntwe NT

Hermannsburg Potters – Ntaria (Hermannsburg) NT

Ikuntji Artists – Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) NT

Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre – Mparntwe NT

Iwantja Arts – Iwantja (Indulkana) SA

Kaltjiti Arts – Kaltjiti (Fregon) SA

Keringke Arts – Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) NT

Ltyentye Apurte Traditional Craft Centre – Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) NT

Martumili Artists – Parnpajinya (Newman) WA

Maruku Arts – Mutitjulu & Uluru NT

Mimili Maku Arts – Mimili SA

Minyma Kutjara Arts Project – Irrunytju (Wingellina) WA

Ninuku Arts – Kalka SA

Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre – Tennant Creek NT

Papunya Tjupi Arts – Papunya NT

Papunya Tula Artists – based in Mparntwe NT

Spinifex Arts Project – Tjuntjuntjara WA

Tangentyere Artists – Mparntwe NT

Tapatjatjaka Art & Craft – Titjikala NT

Tjala Arts – Amata SA

Tjanpi Desert Weavers – based in Mparntwe NT

Tjarlirli Art – Kaltukatjara & Tjukurla, WA

Tjungu Palya – Nyapari SA

Utopia Art Centre – Arlparra NT

Walkatjara Art – Mutitjulu & Uluru NT

Warakurna Artists – Warakurna (Giles) WA

Warlayirti Artists – Wirrimanu (Balgo) WA

Warlukurlangu Artists – Yuendumu NT

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists – Mparntwe NT

Desert Mob 2023 is presented by Desart, the peak body for 38 Aboriginal Art Centres across central Australia encompassing South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.


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