Maralinga Community Projects

Commencing in 2014, Yalata Community and Alphaville Arts Company have collaborated on a three-year program of linked community projects – an international collaboration of artists working with atomic survivor communities. The community arts projects with Maralinga communities are listed below:


Men’s Storytelling and Sculpture Project

(See previous posts)

Yalata mound sculpture

Model of the mound sculpture held in front of the site. photo / Jessie Boylan

Artist in residence, John Turpie, skilled in sculpture, landscape architecture and community facilitation are working with men from Yalata and Oak Valley to devise and construct sculptures for installation at Yalata, and at other locations –including overseas. The project will convey the stories of family migration and community development since the 1950s, when British nuclear testing became a key factor in changing Aboriginal settlements in South Australia. The storytelling workshops involve developing a ‘register of voices’, before entering a stage of collaborative design of space and artefacts, followed by construction of what are likely to be large scale installations. The project commenced in Spring 2014.


Steel Malu (kangaroo) and Mound sculpture (in progress). Photo by John Turpie.








Piti dish carving (mid-process), one of the elements for the proposed sculpture.

Piti dish carving (mid-process), one of the central elements of the ‘Tree of Life: Gift of Peace’ sculpture.

Sculpture-gift for Nagasaki Peace Park

Arising from the community sculpture project, was the international sculpture gift for Nagasaki Peace Park. In collaboration, South Australia’s Yalata Anangu community, Mayors for Peace (Australia) and the Nuclear Futures program officially gifted the ‘Tree of Life: Gift of Peace’ sculpture to Nagasaki City in April, 2016. The project was inspired as a contribution to the peace-related activities taking place in Nagasaki during the 70-year commemoration of the atomic bombings in Japan. Nagasaki Peace Park is an internationally renown sculpture park frequented by thousands of visitors annually, and features gifted artworks from around the world that convey messages of peace and friendship. Prior to the project, there was no Australian contribution to Nagasaki Peace Park. See full story, and our short film and behind the scenes documentation of the gifting.


Photo by Jessie Boylan

Photo by Jessie Boylan

(See previous posts)

In this Digital Arts residency,  a multi media artist and a photographer will facilitate a womens project connecting generations, and connecting people to country. The residency will build on an existing Natural Resource Management project and develop both secret and public images and stories. It will support school-community links and the development of IT skills. Following on from this project, young Yalata participants were involved in the Nuclear Futures 2015  International workshop in Japan in partnership with the Global Hibakusha Project.

'Ngurini (Searching)' immersive projection. Photo by Carl Warner.

‘Ngurini (Searching)’ immersive projection. Photo by Carl Warner.

Ngurini (Searching), immersive installation

Arising from community arts with the Yalata community, this 20 minute installation explores the forced relocation and intergenerational response of Pitjantjatjara Anangu in the aftermath of South Australia’s atomic experiments. The original and poignant artwork embodies community stories of landscape and migration, and is inspired by the resilience and hopes of current generations. Ngurini premiered at the ’10 Minutes to Midnight’ showcase in July 2015 at The Block, Queensland University of Technology.

E-Bay draws the bomb: Artist Mentoring Project

This project centres around a 10-12 week residency with Yalata artist Warren Paul (nicknamed E-bay), mentored by Pam Diment, Director of Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Centre. E-bay, a line drawing specialist who is branching into pottery, will focus on making A-bomb-like objects as intermediate art works to inspire his line drawings. View the webisode about Warren’s mentorship and amazing sculpture work, produced by photomedia artist Jessie Boylan.


‘Maralinaga’s Long Shadow’ cover

Book publication

Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne Story by Christobel Mattingley

Building on the successful 2009 publication of Maralinga the Anangu Story by Yalata and Oak Valley Communities with Christobel Mattingley (Allen & Unwin Australia 2009) is the new release Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne’s Story, a collaboration between author Christobel Mattingley and the Edwards family at Yalata, South Australia. The book focuses on the life of the late senior Anangu woman Yvonne Edwards, artist and major contributor to Maralinga the Anangu Story, and the cost of the fall-out for herself and her family from the nuclear tests in the 1950s.

Yvonne Edwards. Photo courtesy of Allen & Unwin.

Yvonne Edwards. Photo courtesy of Allen & Unwin.

The new work Maralinga’s Long Shadow was published in April 2016 and publisher Allen & Unwin launched the book at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute on June 2, 2016.
Read more:
About the book, author, reviews and purchase details
Photos, speeches and details of the official launch attended by over 300 people in Adelaide, June 2016
Teachers notes



'Death' by Alinta Smart from Yalata Anangu community, in the collection 'Lififtede

‘Death’ by Alinta Smart

Life lifted into the Sky

The women’s painting workshop has produced a series of paintings titled ‘Life Lifted into the Sky’, and larger group paintings for national exhibition. Works are currently in the SH Ervin Gallery in Sydney, and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

Twelve Bags

‘Twelve Bags’ is our working title for a new play, that will be the dramatised story of the 1980s campaign for recognition and the outcomes of the Royal Commission into British Nuclear testing, which provided Maralinga Tjarutja with resources in compensation for dispossession from their lands. The project will involve community writing workshops, then the writing of an original play. Work on the play will commence early in 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 17.52.06Key Partners: Yalata and Oak Valley communities, Allen and Unwin Publishing, Maralinga Tjarutja Council, Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Centre

Yalata Arists and facilitators: Mima Smart, Russell Bryant, Nigel Asplin, Keith Peters, Irene Peters, Steve Harrison, Warren (E-Bay) Paul, Edwards Family 

Visiting Artists: Linda Dement, Jessie Boylan, John Turpie, Pam Diment, Christobel Mattingley, Paul Brown, Tina Jackson, Ellise Barkley

Funding and other support: The current arts program is principally funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. Yalata has raised additional direct funding, including Australia Council funding for the Yalata Festival, an Australia Council grant for the men’s sculpture group and the Nagasaki project, and a Country Arts SA grant for the Maralinga Music project. The Department of Foreign Affairs through its Tokyo Embassy supported the Nagasaki Sculpture project. Grants have also been secured from Mayors for Peace and Graham F Smith Peace Foundation, and there has been significant in-kind support from Yalata Community and a number of universities.