The 2008 Desert Mob exhibition shone with an explosion of colour, life and energy as more than 800 visitors from all over Australia came to see the latest annual exhibition of Central Australian Aboriginal art centres at the Araluen Galleries.

Record sales totalling $315,000 accompanied the launch of the 18th annual Desert Mob Exhibition last Sunday 29 September 2008, an increase of almost $35,000 from the same day last year.

Araluen Arts Centre director Tim Rollason said Desert Mob 2008 is a testament to the ingenuity, creativity and cultural resilience of the artists this exhibition represents.

While many artists who have exhibited in Desert Mob over the years may no longer be with us today, their spirit lives on in work that continues to show incredible life, energy and hope, even when life out bush may not the easiest ride at times, Mr Rollason said.

Desert Mob is the most comprehensive national exhibition documenting and presenting the current activities of Central Australian Aboriginal art centres.

The exhibition has been a pivotal point of contact for Aboriginal artists in Central Australia, playing an important role in the development of individual styles and arts practices across the region and assisting with the promotion and economic development of the Indigenous arts industry in Central Australia as a whole.

The annual Desert Mob exhibition has assisted to launch the careers of many individual artists, and assisted to raise the profile of new and emerging art centres along the way.

Mr Rollason said the Araluen Arts Centre has acquired works from the Ernabella, Martumili, Maruku, Tangentyere, Tjungu Palya, Warakurna and Yarrenyty-Arltere art centres for the Araluen Collection.

These works will continue to develop the Indigenous focus of the Araluen Arts Centre Collection, and will become integral to a new, permanent exhibition chronicling the history of Aboriginal art in Central Australia, when it opens at the Araluen Arts Centre early next year, Mr Rollason said.

The exhibition is on display at the Araluen Galleries until Sunday 9 November 2008.

Gallery Hours: 10am “ 4pm Monday to Friday, 11am “ 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

The Desert Mob MarketPlace held at Araluen Art Centre on Saturday 27 September 2008 attracted more than 4000 visitors to view and purchase artworks direct from the art centres.