Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

A ‘Coo-ee’ from the Western Desert reverberates in Manly

An incredible exhibition of stunning Western Desert art by 57 acclaimed Aboriginal artists is coming to Manly Art Gallery & Museum this winter.

Three Echoes – Western Desert Art is curated by celebrated artist, curator, writer and activist, Djon Mundine. The exhibition showcases works by critically acclaimed artists from the Aboriginal communities of Ikuntji, Papunya and Utopia, from the private collection of Andrew Arnott and Karin Schack.

Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins said Manly Art Gallery & Museum was thrilled to host this very special national touring exhibition. 

“These artworks epitomise the Western Desert Art movement and hold very special meaning for First Nations peoples,” Mayor Heins said.

“These paintings, prints and batiks by critically acclaimed artists tell the stories of tjukurroa (Dreaming) and Country. It is an incredible honour to display these works and share them with our local community.”

Three Echoes – Western Desert Art is an initiative of Museums & Galleries Queensland.

Featured artists include including Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, Narputta Nangala Jugadai, Long Tom Tjapanangka, Dr George Tjapaltjarri, Gloria Petyarre and Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

The exhibition explores the poetic notion of echoes – how metaphorically and metaphonically we can echo a thought, a sentiment or a consciousness.

“In the early 1970s, my father once told me of how, when he was a child in Bandjalung country, people coming along the river or through the woods would ‘Coo-ee’ to announce their presence at certain places where their voice would echo repeatedly, reverberating into the distance; to which the receiver would, ‘chant-like’, respond,” said Curator, Djon Mundine OAM FAHA.

In the 1970s, Aboriginal people from the desert began talking to the world through art, transferring their creation stories of the land and people to canvas. Today, this foundational echo continues to reverberate within Australia and across the globe.

Three Echoes – Western Desert Art
14 June – 28 July 2024
Manly Art Gallery & Museum
West Esplanade Reserve, Manly 
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (closed Mondays & Public Holidays) 
Free entry

Members and Volunteers Preview
Friday 14 June, 10 – 11am
Bookings essential

Exhibition Opening
Thursday 20 June, 6 – 8pm
To be opened by curator, writer, artist and activist, Djon Mundine OAM FAHA
Bookings essential

Curatorial Exhibition Tour
Friday 21 June, 11am – 12pm
Exhibition curator Djon Mundine OAM FAHA will talk about the Western Desert arts centres and artworks in the exhibition.
Bookings essential

For more information visit

Media release provided by Northern Beaches Council, 23rd May 2024