The community of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory, almost two hundred miles north west of Alice Springs, is a significant centre for Warlpiri people, albeit from several different language groups. Established as a government settlement in the late 1940s, it was one of the earliest desert communities to take up the torch of the painting movement from Papunya.
In 1983, Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, who had been involved in the painting of the school mural at Papunya, joined with other elder Warlpiri men in a project to paint the school doors at Yuendumu. They painted major Dreaming stories or Jukurrpa in a deliberate attempt to preserve and share ceremonial knowledge.
It initiated a powerful and enduring painting movement amongst the community’s men and women. From the outset Yuendumu art has been characterised by its flamboyant enjoyment of colour, and its bold, organic, sense of design. The shared Warlpiri heritage of the community gives the art produced there an additional strength and coherence.