A vivid world has sprung to life from the brushes of the painters of the APY lands.

A colour-field of pulsing gold and scarlet; a ground of turquoise and psychedelic blue; a snake’s form, pink and purple, writhing around the canvas. For dash and brio in contemporary Aboriginal art-making, there’s no going past the work that has been pouring from the Pitjantjatjara homelands of the South Australian desert in recent years.

Wild colours, free lines, and a raw, rough style have been the constant trademarks of this latest phase in the Centre’s unfolding art odyssey, and even in the present period of economic uncertainty the appeal these paintings make to collectors has stayed strong.

But the success of the region’s vivid artworks raises a set of intriguing, insistent questions. What is the future of tradition-based indigenous art; how much further will it evolve from its austere initial templates; what links will it keep with the ceremonial wellsprings of desert life?