THEY were thousands of kilometres from the desert, but that didn’t stop a group of local Aboriginal students tapping into its rich spirit at a watercolour workshop at Newcastle Art Gallery.

The workshop was held as part of the Desert Country exhibition, which features works from 54 Aboriginal artists.

They range from Albert Namatjira watercolours to those of contemporary Aboriginal artists such as Maringka Baker and Nura Rupert.

The works are in Newcastle as part of a national tour.

˜˜The collection is from our extensive collection of Aboriginal art, much of which had hitherto been in storage,” Art Gallery of South Australia and former Newcastle Art Gallery director Nick Mitzevich said.

The exhibition will remain in Newcastle until June 17.