Kira Kiro Art Centre

Kira Kiro Art Centre is located in Kalumburu Community, some 550 km from Kununurra in the south-east and 650 km from Derby in the south-west. Formerly Drysdale River Mission, it is the northernmost settlement in Western Australia. Approximately 400–500 people live at Kalumburu, mostly of Indigenous descent from the Wunambal and Kwini language groups. Kalumburu Community is remote from any main roads – the nearest is the Gibb River Road, 270 km to the south via the Kalumburu Road. Access may be gained to Kalumburu all year round via air or by gravel road during the dry season only.

Arts practice has always been a strong cultural activity for the Kalumburu community. It has also been an important part of its economic and cultural maintenance for many years, with individual artists and families mostly selling through private dealers. In recognition of this, Kira Kiro Kalumburu Art Centre was established in 2009 with ongoing assistance from Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in Kununurra. Waringarri is currently responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Kalumburu Art Project.

The region is rich in rock art particularly of the Wandjina and Gwion or Kira Kiro figures. Arts practice is grounded in the rock art tradition with contemporary practice also including secular themes of sea life and seasonal flora. Kalumburu artists have developed botanical themed works from original bush tucker and medicinal plant knowledge. Artists are not limited to plants on land but also include freshwater and saltwater aquatic plants, known as food sources for sea creatures, which are also an important part of Kalumburu culture.

Artists paint with ochre pigments onto canvas, paper and bark and are also skilled slate and boab engravers.

Kira Kiro Art Centre Kalumburu Community
C/- Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, PO Box 968, Kununurra, WA, 6743
(08) 9161 4521

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Other Art Centres in the North-West Kimberley