2022 Finalists


Statement: “Before birds were birds, birds were human. There was pelican, the white egret, the owl, the black cockatoo and the white cockatoo. They heard Purukuparli and said, ‘We will give you feathers to make headbands, armbands, false beards.’ Then Purukuparli had the ceremony on the eastern side of Melville Island. That was a long time ago. That story was told by my ancestors, my close family.” – Pedro Wonaeamirri

Contemporary Tiwi art has its foundations in jilamara (design) derived from ceremonial painting and decoration applied to the body for ceremony and Tiwi yoi (dance). This collaborative work from artists at Jilamara Arts on the Tiwi Islands draws on these performative foundations of the artwork made at the centre. Using photo mediums in a contemporary gallery context, this work keeps Tiwi culture close and controls the creation of related imagery, rather than being represented by outside people.

Artists left-right: Arthurina Moreen, Barbara Puruntatameri, Chris Kojack Black, Bernadette Mungatopi, Gerard Bush, Dorianna Bush, Johnathon World Peace Bush, Joselyn Black, DK Mungatopi, Jimmy Mungatopi, Brenda Patricia Bush, Consolata Mungatopi, Ian Cook, Connie Puruntatameri, Dino Wilson, Edwina Moreen, Jason Joran, Kerry Woody, Nellie Punguatji, Kaye Brown, Kenny Brown, Kathleen Puruntatameri, Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri, Josephine Warlapinni, Reggie Mungatopi, Jacinta Lorenzo, Richard Djorlam, Raelene Kerinauia, Rodney Moreen, Kimberley Stassi, Nancy Kerinauia, Maggie Kerinauia, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Mary Elizabeth Moreen, Rhonda Tippakippa, Michelle Bush, Angelina Moreen, Roselyn Brown, Columbiere Tipungwuti, Mildred Lorenzo, Vincent Mungatopi, Michelle Woody Minnapinni, Timothy Cook, Serafina Stassi, Jessica Stassi

Marriwiyi portraits  2021
from the series Marriwiyi project
pigment ink-jet prints
49.5 x 33.0 cm (each)
courtesy of the artists and Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association (Milikapiti)


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  • Wai Tang Commissioning Award
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