Irrunytju, formerly known as Wingellina, is a small community of some 200 Pitjantjatjarra and Ngaanyatjarra people 12 kilometres from the point where the Northern Territory, Western and South Australia borders meet.
It's also the border post between the two great cultural zones of the Western Desert - the Pitjantjatajra to the east and the Nganyatjarra to the west. Wingellina people feel the ties both ways.
The community developed in the 1970s around a chrysophase mine. Chips of the deep-green stone lie scattered in the red dust.
News of the Warburton Arts Project, where many Irrunytju residents grew up, and the Spinifex Arts Project and Native Title claim filtered through to the community. Anangu senior women, some involved with the NPY weaving project, were keen to begin painting on canvas and the idea to establish their own painting outlet started to grow amongst the women.
Despite unsuccessful attempts at gaining ATSIC and Government funding, the women's resolve was strong. They pooled their pension cheques, started a second-hand shop and, by mid 2001, with assistance from Amanda Dent, the first art co-ordinator, had raised enough money to create their own art centre. Art production, fired by the women's enthusiasm, grew rapidly and soon Irruntju women were holding group exhibitions, that would be emulated by the men.