Northern Territory

Desert Mob 2018 is coming to the Araluen Arts Centre

The NT Department of Tourism and Culture’s Araluen Arts Centre along with Desart present Desert Mob 2018, one of the nation’s most anticipated Aboriginal art and cultural events.

“Desert Mob is an event like no other that the Araluen Arts Centre is proud to present in partnership with Desart each September in the heart of the country – Mparntwe (Alice Springs),” Senior Director of the Department of Tourism and Culture’s Araluen Cultural Precinct, Dr Mark Crees said.

The Desert Mob 2018 exhibition will span three galleries, presenting more than 250 new artworks by hundreds of artists from 31 Desart-member art centres across the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. All artworks will be available to purchase.

“Desert Mob is a nationally significant annual survey of art and arts projects by emerging and established Aboriginal artists from desert art centres,” Dr Crees said.

“Desert Mob is recognised nationally and internationally as a key exhibition showcasing emerging practices, current trends and innovations in Aboriginal art from the region that gave the movement birth.”

Desert Mob, now in its 28th year, remains unique among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander exhibitions with artists and their art centres selecting the artworks to be exhibited, rather than through a pre-selection process.

The opening weekend of Desert Mob 2018 will feature three days of significant events, including the official exhibition opening, a day-long symposium, and an affordable-art market place.

“The official opening of Desert Mob is one of great energy and a proud celebration of culture, with many artists and arts workers joining national and international visitors who have travelled for the event where we open the Gallery doors to an incredible array of significant Aboriginal artworks with poignant connection to country, all of which have been produced by artists in remote art centres in the past twelve months,” Dr Crees said.

“Opening night will feature a performance from the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir and the opportunity to meet artists who have travelled across Central Australia for this special event.”

The Desert Mob 2018 Exhibition will be officially opened on Thursday 6 September 2018 at 5.30pm and will continue until Sunday 21 October 2018.

The Desert Mob 2018 Symposium is a day-long program rich in presentations by Aboriginal artists, their art centres, and special guests.

In 2018 the Symposium focuses on celebrating the 25th anniversary of Desart; Desert Mob presenting partner and the peak arts body for Central Australian Aboriginal Arts and Crafts centres.

The Symposium is held in the Araluen Theatre between 10.00am and 3.30pm on Friday 7 September 2018. Entry is free and catered lunch is available at a cost of $25-$30 by prior registration.

A highlight of the Desert Mob opening weekend is the Desert Mob MarketPlace which takes place on Saturday 8 September 2018 between 10am and 2pm at the Araluen Arts Centre.

Many art centres are represented, offering thousands of high quality artworks at the affordable price of five hundred dollars or less. This large, vibrant outdoor/indoor market event provides an opportunity for unique interaction between artists, art centre staff and buyers and to acquire remarkable art direct from the 30 remote art centres represented.

Desert Mob 2018 continues a tradition of revealing and celebrating the vast cultural, linguistic and geographical diversity of Aboriginal artists including the APY Lands of South Australia; as far south as the Great Victoria Desert; west to the Gibson Desert; north to the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia; and across the central and southern Northern Territory, including several Alice Springs-based art centres.

“In 2017 Desert Mob broke all records with more than 10,000 people attending the exhibition and more than $1 million in sales. If the quality of work that has already come into Araluen ahead of the exhibition in 2018 is anything to go by, this will be another incredible year.” Dr Crees said.

Source: NT Government

Featured Image: Desert Mob 2017 Exhibition Opening. Photos by Lisa Hatz Photography.