Norman Kingsley paints for Waralungka Arts, based in the Borroloola community.
Waralungku Arts is an Aboriginal owned and controlled arts centre located in the town of Borroloola in the Northern Territory. It is an enterprise of Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Association Incorporated (Mabunji).
Waralungku represents several artists from the four different language groups of the region. Yanyuwa, Garrawa, Marra and Gurdanji. Borroloola, is a small town of about 900 people located on near the MacArthur River, approximately 900kms east of Darwin.
The Yanyuwa and Marra are referred to as ‘saltwater people’ and are associated with the Sir Edward Pellew Islands and the lower reaches of the McArthur and Limmen Rivers.The Gundanji and Garrawa people are known as ‘mainland or freshwater people’ and are associated with land to the south and east of the present township of Borroloola. Gundanji lands include the site of the McArthur River Mine. Garrawa lands are near the Queensland border near Wollogorang Station and Robinson River.
Since opening in 2003, Waralungku Arts has had a strong focus on community cultural development and it now supports about 40 artists in a range of activities including visual arts and craft, cultural tourism, dance and musical performance.
Artists works have been described as different, new, and colourful and contemporary indigenous art, a reflection of two cultures.
‘A fresh look at country through new eyes, colour and styles’ (Stewart Hoosan Country Exhibition Karen Brown Gallery). ‘Presenting a rare and important visual account of the Gulf frontier as seen through eyes that witnessed the imposition of pastoral capital on the traditional ways of indigenous people’. (Nancy McDinny, Frontier Stories Exhibition, Indigenart Melbourne).
Many of the artists have exhibited all over Australia in Darwin, Cairns, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. In 2011 work has been exhibited in London. Each year it has had artists selected for the Telstra Art Award.
Waralungku is the place name for the Burketown crossing on the McArthur River, the crossing on the main road just outside of Borroloola is associated with the Hill Kangaroo Dreaming and an imprint of its feet, tail and hind quarters are located at this site.