Early in last year’s dry season, abstract artist Ildiko Kovacs set out on a journey she had long yearned to make, up to Fitzroy Crossing in the far-off Kimberley.

For three weeks, she haunted the Mangkaja Art Centre’s studio shed, and spent her days there with two desert painters she revered, Wakartu Cory Surprise and Jukuja Dolly Snell.

Kovacs watched them; they watched her. The three women began to work together, separate, yet in tandem. Not quite collaboration, it grew into something much more precious: artists from two distinct worlds finding in each other’s company a mutual inspiration, a creative bridge.

On one side, Kovacs, a painter of Hungarian descent, a woman for whom each brushstroke is an intuition, pondered and brought through a maze of hesitations. On the other, Wakartu and Jukuja, two senior women born in the fastness of the Great Sandy Desert, painting their country with quiet, grand resolve.

The fruit of these painting sessions is on view at Darwin’s Raft Artspace. The gallery walls are bright with colour fields and strongly blocked-out forms of light and and dark. Eight works on paper and a single canvas by Kovacs hang alongside two pieces by Jukuja and 14 by Wakartu.