In 2011 we partnered with the Shire of East Pilbara and the University of Western Australia to find the right design for a new arts centre for the Newman community. On 29 April, what was once nothing more than sketches on a page became the East Pilbara Arts Centre - something the entire Newman Community can be proud of.
We contributed A$4.4 million towards the construction of the new Centre, which provides the local community with a vibrant multi- purpose and cultural space for the residents of Newman. It includes an art gallery, artist work areas, flexible community space, commercial grade kitchen, offices and caretaker accommodation.
Edgar Basto, Asset President Western Australian Iron Ore, spoke at the Centre’s opening about the importance of our partnerships with Aboriginal people across our operations and the exceptional opportunities this new centre will provide.
“We wish the Martumili artists every success as they settle into their new home at the East Pilbara Arts Centre. We hope the provision of this centre allows them to grow as a group and inspire others to enjoy their creations while learning and understanding more about their culture. This centre will continue to help put Newman on the map as a town known for its creativity, culture and stories,” he said.
Guests at the opening event also heard from key Martumili artists, toured the new centre and enjoyed entertainment by the talented Frank Yamma. They were also given the opportunity to view the extraordinary ‘We Don’t Need a Map’ exhibition which, for the first time, was shown in its home Newman.
The centre was made possible by a partnership between Martumili, BHP Billiton, the Shire of East Pilbara, the Pilbara Development Commission and Lotteries West.
About the Martumili Artists Group
The Martumili Artists Group is an unincorporated organisation established by the Shire of East Pilbara in 2006 to provide art centre services to Martu people living in Parnpajinya (Newman), Jigalong, Parngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji (Nullagine) and Warralong Communities.
Since its inception in 2006, Martumili Artists have catalogued the work of approximately 300 artists. Of these, there are approximately 75 active artists with around 35-45 of these being of high prominence and in some cases internationally regarded.
We have proudly partnered with the Martumili Artists, via the Shire of East Pilbara, since 2007, providing over A$4 million dollars in supporting program and operational costs.