Posted by Jade  |  August 6, 2022


Louise Malarvie wins the 2022 NATSIAA Emerging Artist Award! 

Waringarri Arts is thrilled to announce that Louise Malarvie has been presented with the Emerging Artist Award at the 2022 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), the longest running and most prestigious national Indigenous Art Awards.

“I feel so amazing – I’m so happy about winning this award. I want to keep painting for my children and keep going back to my Country.”  

Emerging artist Malarvie lives and works in Kununurra yet her Country is further south in the Great Sandy Desert between Paraku and Balgo.  Born in Darwin, the artist grew up in Kununurra and has been painting at Waringarri Arts since 2008 when she accompanied her mother, also an artist working at the centre.  Louise laughs about feeling awkward as a young artist - “I felt strange being the youngest one back then painting with all the old people....”  Understanding now how those formative years were important ground-work for her future career as an artist. “I thank the elders of Waringarri Arts for this award.”

Now 42, Malarvie’s work has exhibited in 14 group exhibitions throughout Australia and 2 internationally, although she is still considered an emerging artist.  “ I look forward to my first major solo exhibition in Melbourne.”  Booked some time ago,  the artist was already in great demand and popular with art lovers.  Waringarri Arts is pleased Malarvie is officially recognised for her talent and achievements thus far as confirmed by the Gallery Co-ordinator:  “Louise has worked through numerous styles and themes. As an artist she is constantly exploring and pushing herself." 

In the winning piece Pamarr Yara Malarvie brings her Country to life as she interprets seasonal flood waters transforming vast areas of her desert homeland.  The judges comments included:

"This alluring painting conveys a layered granular texture suggestive of the earth being swept, shifted, and redistributed by the dispersal of rain and floodwater.  This subtle yet commanding work illustrates Malarvie’s capacity for strong composition and her deftness of earth pigment application, which inherently contain the muted colours of her Country. Her composition simultaneously conveys nuanced and distinctive features of the land as well as the vastness and immense scale of the Great Sandy Desert."

“All the rocks have different colours.   When the floods come in the cold weather, the water changes the colour of the rocks – some turn to gold, brown or purple and  look like opals. It is amazing country. Everything I see I just put in my mind and get those stories and it’s like glittering stones.”

Malarvie's arts practice is a painterly meditation exploring feelings of connectedness, healing and spiritual longing. ”I draw from my mind and my spirit and it just comes to me. I think about it all the time. It’s healing for me, painting. I feel more connected and close to the country; it makes me happy.”


Louise Malarview 220804 NATSIAA39_MediaPreview_CharlieBliss_040.jpg

Louise Malarvie NATSIAA_Photo Alex Parry.jpg Louise Malarvie_Pamarr Yara_ by Mark Sherwood.JPG


Images: 1-2 photographer Charlie Bliss, 3. Louise with her award, photographer Alex Parry, 4. Louise's award winning artwork 'Pamarr Yara', 125 x 130cm, natural ochre and pigments on canvas,  photographer Mark Sherwood. 

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