Bilingual publications produced by Warmun Art Centre
















Garnkiny – Constellations of Meaning, 2014

Download the full publication here: Garnkiny – pdf

This publication can be purchased from Warmun Art Centre for $40 (plus postage). Contact:

The exhibition and publication Garnkiny – Constellations of Meaning concern one Gija narrative – that of the Dreaming Moon man, Garnkiny or Jawoorranyji. The story of Garnkiny’s travels across a vast expanse of Gija country is told and painted by some of Warmun’s most revered artists such as the late Queenie McKenzie, Hector Jandany and Mick Jawalji and living painters Rusty Peters, Mabel Juli, Phyllis Thomas and Patrick Mung Mung.

It concerns some of the most serious tenets of Gija Law and most primary of human experiences; death and mortality, love and sex, jealousy and desire, transgression and obligation. This project has engaged with story and storytelling in its various forms from the oral traditions that have carried the actions and messages of Ngarranggarni beings forward through time, to painting, which for Gija people has more recently become a vehicle for story with its own particular power. Bringing together the Gija concept of the Ngarranggarni with the field of linguistics, the project draws out some of the intricate networks or constellations of related knowledge – of country, of human behaviour of the natural and social world – that this story holds and the cultural, spiritual and intellectual legacy it constitutes.

















Jadagen Warnkan Barnden (Wet Time, Cold Time, Hot Time: Changing Climtate in Gija Country), 2013

Download the full publication here: Jadagen Warnkan Barnden – pdf

This publication can be purchased from Warmun Art Centre for $40 (plus postage). Contact:

Jadagen Warnkan Barnden is a detailed and intimate account of Gija knowledge of seasonal and climatic change through painting, story and language. It began as a series of discussions between environmental scientist Sonia Leonard, linguist and cultural consultant Frances Kofod, and senior Gija artists and knowledge holders from Warmun Art Centre. These discussions were part of a Kimberley-wide research project about Indigenous perceptions of climate change, funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF). This exhibition and publication seeks to strengthen and pass on Gija ways of knowing to younger generations within our own community and to people beyond.

Linguist Frances Kofod writes, “Gija culture is not static but has evolved to take account of the changing world. Today painting lies at its heart. It is particularly appropriate that the Gija changing climate story is told in paintings, as the whole Warmun Turkey Creek Art movement began as the result of a weather event. The woman whose spirit gave the Goorirr Goorirr to Rover Thomas was killed in a car accident when the rainbow snake crossed the road in a storm. The paintings carried on the shoulders of the dancers in this song and dance cycle were the start of a tradition carried on today. This series of paintings provides an original and enlightening presentation of Gija seasonal indicators and perceptions of weather and climate. The accompanying book of stories is also an important addition to the corpus of Gija literature.”


Select publications that include Warmun Art Centre projects and work


Ngali-Ngalim-Boorroo (For the Women) in Curating Feminism, published by The Power Institute and Sydney College of the Arts, 2014

Download the full essay from Curating Feminism here: Ngali-Ngalim-Boorroo_pdf

The essay included in Curating Feminism consists of the words of senior Gija women including Nancy Nodea, Mabel Juli, Betty Carrington, Phyllis Thomas and Shirley Purdie, extracted from interviews recorded in the Media Lab at Warmun Art Centre by Nancy Daylight, Margaret Joshua and Asayah Nodea. They speak with intelligence, clarity and heart about their hopes for their young women’s futures. The full text has been compiled and co-authored by Anna Crane and Alana Hunt.

The paintings, videos and texts that form  the exhibition Ngalim Ngalim-boorroo are just one component of a much larger and on going project of the same name, which has been driven by senior women at Warmun Art Centre. Over the last year and a half these women, including Mabel Juli, Shirley Purdie, Phyllis Thomas, Shirley Drill among others, have lead a series of bush trips to different parts of Gija Countryin order to share time with and teach their young women what they feel is important – culturally and artistically. This has included song and dance, hunting, bush tucker, stories about life and love, visits to Ngarranggarni sites and special places connected to family histories – it has included things that are sacred and things that are not. In one way the start of the Warmun Art Movement was driven by the two-way educational focus of the local school and this pedagogic element remains an important component of art practice in Warmun today; paintings not only express beliefs, opinions, stories, feelings and histories, but they capture them for future generations to come.

Ngali-ngalim-boorroo was shown at The Cross Art Projects in Sydney in late October 2014 as part of the symposium and exhibition Curating Feminism at Sydney College of the Arts and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


Joonba, Junba, Juju
















Joonba, Junba, Juju: song and dance cycles of the Kimberley, exhibition catalogue published by UTS ART, 2014

Download the full exhibition catalogue here: Joonba, Junba, Juju – pdf

Joonba, junba and juju are three names from Kimberley Aboriginal languages for a specific form of performance driven by narrative. In Gija and Miriwoong languages the word is joonba, in Ngarinyin junba and in Bununba Country juju. Bringing together different countries and language groups from across the Kimberley, Joonba, Junba, Juju is part of a gradually unfolding project that has strengthened these song and dance cycles in the region. The exhibition is focused on the power of material objects made and used in these song cycles, complemented by digital media presentations of these performances.

Young cultural leaders and arts workers Gabriel Nodea and Chris Griffiths, were guided through a writing process by Warmun Art Centre staff to produce texts for this catalogue.

This exhibition is one in a series by an alliance of four leading Aboriginal-owned art centres in the Kimberley working together as Kimberley Aboriginal Artists (KAA); Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Mowanjum Arts and Culture Centre, Waringarri Aboriginal Arts and Warmun Art Centre.