He was born in 1964 close to the Oakover River. Two years later his family moved into Jingalong and were amongst the last Martu to live entirely in the desert with access to rations.
Desmond went to school in Nullagine and Perth and now works as a professional translator and educator as well as an artist. He primarily paints his family’s Country around Karlamilyl (Rudall River) and the creation stories for that Country, especially the Ngayarta Kujarra Dreaming.
Many will know Desmond for his work as interpreter, linguist, cultural advisor and advocate in his community. He is also a dedicated and accomplished artist. Desmond is deeply connected to his ancestral Country and stories, and is keeping these stories alive today through his delicate, yet fiercly powerful artwork. In the last year, Desmond has dedicated himself to illustrating and reigniting the story of the Niminjarra- a Jukurrpa story from the Warnman side of his heritage, and one that he has commited to pass down to future generations. Desmond's generosity and wisdom is immensly valued by his family, community and art centre. View Desmonds recent artworks at Fremantle Arts Centre Revealed exhibition, and in Paul Johnstone Gallery 'Strong Country' exhibition, and feel the power 🙌🏾Video by Gianna Mazzeo
Posted by Martumili Artists on Thursday, April 23, 2020
“I feel pukurlpa, I feel happy when I paint,” he said. “It brings happiness, connection, family. It keeps the stories alive and keeps connection to ngurra, Country.”
For Revealed, Desmond painted three exquisite largescale works on arches paper depicting the Niminjarra story.
“Niminjarra is the two brothers transforming into a snake so they can come back home to Ngayartakujarra (Lake Dora). They were in training for ceremony, those two brothers, but they were kept too long and nobody was there to release them.
“They waited then they decided to transform into snakes to travel back to where they came from, because their mother was waiting for them. This is Jukurrpa (Dreaming story).”