Nomad art is proud to present a new body of limited edition collagraphs from Jilamara Arts and Crafts on the Tiwi islands. The collection features work by Michelle Woody Minnapinni, Timothy Cook, Conrad Kamilowra Tipungwuti, Raelene Lampuwatu Kerinauia and Janice Pungautiji Murray among others. The prints were produced during a workshop with master printmaker Basil Hall in 2023.
Tiwi art is a powerful and unique expression which is drawn from the language, ceremonies, and material culture of the Tiwi people. Tiwi art is often inspired by two significant ceremonial rituals, Pukumani (mourning ceremony) and Kulama (initiation or yam ceremony) which echo Tiwi cosmology and mythology. Painted designs are based on patterns of lines and dots derived from the body paintings for these rituals, however emphasis is also placed on innovation and individuality rather than associations with totemic groups or kinship systems. The result is powerful and individual imagery created with natural pigments. The Tiwi are extraordinary exponents of this convergence of freedom and constraint informed by the heritage of Tiwi culture.
Michelle Woody applies Tiwi earth pigments using the Kayimwagakimi (comb), a painting tool made from locally harvested ironwood and used in Tiwi ceremonial body painting. In the long-standing tradition of her ancestors, she utilises three traditional colours of the island landscape: white, yellow and red.
Timothy Cook is a celebrated Tiwi artist nationally and internationally. His art depicts body paint designs used in the Pukamani Ceremony (Tiwi burial ceremony) and the Kulama Ceremony (yam ceremony). His work is characterised by a powerful compositions and robust application of lines dots and shapes. Timothy’s distinctive style has received much attention and with numerous group and solo exhibitions.
Conrad Tipungwuti has been painting at Jilamara Arts since the late 1990’s. Alongside Timothy Cook, Conrad is part of the Ngawa Mantawi (all of us together) program which supports artists with special needs, while remaining close to family and Country. The over-arching themes of his work depict the wet season Pakatiringa (rain) and the Kulama initiation ceremony. This is represented by large concentric circles that refer both to the yams prepared during the ceremony and large rings that appear around the moon in late wet season signifying the beginning of the Kulama season.
Janice Murray is celebrated for her depictions of a vast array of Tiwi birds. Her works incorporate the body designs used in the Pukamani ceremony. The geometric patterns reference stories of mythological significance involving ancestors who were changed into animals or birds.
View works on the online gallery