The biggest ever exhibition of Aboriginal art from the Pilbara will go on show next month,
giving West Australians an opportunity to see a style of art that has remained largely
undiscovered in Australia, but has been making waves on the international art stage.

What Colours of our Country: Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s 40th Anniversary Exhibition
˜Journey through the Pilbara without leaving Perth’

When 10.00am to 4.00pm daily Sunday 8 to Sunday 15 October 2006

Where Foyer of Council House, St George’s Terrace, Perth

Cost Entry is free

Many West Australians would be unaware that artworks being produced in our remote
north-west are now commanding the attention of the European art world.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore is bringing the exhibition to Perth as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations. The week-long exhibition titled ˜Journey through the Pilbara without leaving Perth’ will be held in the foyer of Council House, Perth.

More than 100 pieces of unique Pilbara artworks including paintings, woodwork artefacts
and textiles, created by 25 Pilbara Aboriginal artists, will be on rotating display.
Renowned art critic Robert Hughes once
described Aboriginal contemporary art as the
˜last great art movement of the 20th century.’
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Sam Walsh said that up to now few Australians had been given the opportunity to see Pilbara Aboriginal artwork, which is characterized by its distinctive
patterns and vibrant colours.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore is very pleased to be able to help raise the profile of Aboriginal artists
Hearson’s Cove (Moorajooga) by Marine James [Murinba] from the Pilbara region in which our Australian iron ore operations are based, Mr Walsh said.
Earlier this year, RTIO helped support an exhibition of Pilbara art called ˜Antica Terra Pulsante’ which was displayed in Florence. This exhibition was very successful and helped raise the profile of Pilbara Aboriginal art across Europe.

I understand that the Shire of Roebourne has recently been invited to hold major
exhibitions of Pilbara Aboriginal art in Berlin and Austria. We are very pleased to have
played a small part in spring-boarding local Pilbara artists to international recognition.
Shire of Roebourne Marketing and Promotions Manager Nan Rickards explained that as
the traditional Aboriginal societies vary greatly across Australia, so too does the artworks
created by individuals from each community.

The Aboriginal people of the Pilbara have inhabited the region for more than 60,000
years, through at least one ice age. Their connection to country is absolute, she said.
Artistically, the remoteness and anonymity of life in the Pilbara has allowed the
Aboriginal communities in the area to develop their own expressive vocabulary.

Unlike artworks in other regions, which often employ ochre and earthy colours, the
Pilbara’s style is extremely bright and colourful, which is reflective of the rich Pilbara red
of the land and the blues of our skies and waters.

Each artist tells his or her individual stories through their art. Maudie, for example,
draws the plants, including traditional medicinal plants, and Marine draws the physical
shapes of the land as she sees and remembers them, from the fishes, to the rivers and

The artists
The 25 artists whose works are included in the exhibition are: Adrian Guinness, Alisha
Sandy, Allery Sandy, Andrea Wally, Carlissa Barker, Clifton Mack, Colleen Hamlett,
Donna Willis, Jill Tucker, Justina Willis, Kathryn Nangala Njamme, Kenny Diamond,
Laurissa Bobby, Leann Allan, Lilla Gagliano, Loreen Samson, Maudie Jerrold, May
Byrne, Marine James, Norman Alone, Ricky Scott, Sharon Warrie, Susan Bung,
Wayne Stephens and Wendy Warrie.