Araluen Arts Centre presents a sculpture exhibition by Batchelor Institute visual arts students from the Alice Springs Correctional Centre


The Araluen Arts Centre is excited to announce Tjulpu Thipe!, the first standalone exhibition of sculptural works to be held at Araluen by Batchelor Institute visual arts students from the Alice Springs Correctional Centre.

“We are delighted to be presenting works by these artists, with an exhibition that showcases their creativity and resourcefulness,” Araluen Cultural Precinct Director, Dr Mark Crees said.

“The artists have created sculptures of many species of Tjulpu and Thipe, which are thePitjantjatjara, Warlpiri, Luritja, Yankunytjatjara and Arrernte words for ‘bird’, and represents the language groups of the artists.

“These sculptures are created from easily sourced, inexpensive, recycled and up-cycled materials to create a spirited representation of the birds of Australia.”  

With small selections of their works presented annually at the Araluen Arts Centre’s Desert Mob exhibition, under the group name ‘Greenbush’, artists from the Correctional Centre have developed a national reputation for animal sculptures imbued with an incredible sense of playfulness. Their works frequently sell out at this event.

“Tjulpu Thipe! continues the tradition of quirky, flamboyant and bizarre sculpture, full of character and humorous observation of the natural world,” Dr Crees said.

Artists in this exhibition are enrolled in a Visual Arts certificate with Batchelor Institute which has had an annexe located at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre since 2016. Previously artists were enrolled through Corrections.

In the last ten years of the program, emphasis has been placed on art skills that are easily transferrable.

The exhibition will be officially opened next Friday 12 May at 6pm Dr Melodie Bat, of the Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Education and will be on display until 21 June 2017.

Media interviews Visual Arts Lecturer, Prisoner Education, Alice Springs Correctional Centre, Sue McDonnell - on 0407 396 912 or email

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