The Desert Mob - Art in the Australian Outback

As you know as a regular reader of this blog, the authors, William Ernest Waites and Susanne Waites, collect and deal in a wide range of tribal art, including that of Australian Aborigines.

Due to our interest in the remarkabe creativity of these people, we offer this report on a recent Aboriginal Art event in Alice Springs, NT Australia.


If you have never been to the Australian outback, it will be very difficult for you to envision the setting.

There are great stretches of red earth with desert scrub and, pretty much, nothing higher than the top of your boots. Dry river beds and washes course the earth.

In the midst of this are settlements of Australian Aboriginals who live a life incredibly close to the earth.

The major population center for all this is Alice Springs.

It's a community with a colonial quality, that would hardly be considered even a small city in the US.

(In fact, Australians don’t generally travel to the Aboriginal communities of the outback either. The government restricts the ability of non-Aboriginals to visit the settlements.)

It always amazes me that an extraordinary art movement has emerged here and flourishes here. Recently, the Desert Mob Show in Alice Springs presented this gripping art.

The Desert Mob show is all the more remarkable because of it roots in the community.

It lacks the funding many other shows have, including the recently experienced Native American Indian Market in Santa Fe, NM, USA.

Nevertheless, the vitality, fire and force of this work is more than inspiring. It is uplifting and mind-opening.

The Desert Mob is the result of a collection of Art Centers in the Australian outback that support and encourage Aboriginal artists.

Works done by these artists are brought to market and the public view at the Desert Mob Show. The show is not juried and not curated. All the art that the Art Centers choose to present is shown.

By all reports, the cumulative effect wass stunning, breathtaking, eye-fracturing beauty.

For more information, including a review of last year’s Desert Mob Show, visit this web site -

For examples of other tribal art offered by Susanne and William Ernest Waites can be found at and