JILAMARA: Tiwi art in the UNSW Art Collection

Above: Raelene Kerinauia Lampuwatu (b.1962) Pwoja-Pukamani body paint design 2005 natural ochres on paper 56 x 76 cm Purchased 2020. UNSW Art Collection © Raelene Kerinauia/Copyright Agency, Australia,

Tiwi art from collection
Pauletta Kerinaiua (b.1982) Kulama 2017 natural ochres on paper 56 x 76cm Purchased 2020. UNSW Art Collection © Pauletta Kerinaiua /Copyright Agency, Australia




JILAMARA: Tiwi art in the UNSW Art Collection showcases the vitality and uniqueness of contemporary Tiwi art. It brings together paintings, prints and sculpture by senior and emerging artists including Timothy Cook, Raelene Kerinauia Lampuwatu and Bede Tungatalum.

Located approximately 80 kilometres north of Darwin, the Tiwi islands comprise Bathurst and Melville islands. They are home to approximately 2,500 Tiwi people whose language and traditions are distinct from Aboriginal cultures on mainland Australia.

Tiwi art is embedded in cultural and ceremonial practices. Tiwi motifs and designs are known as Jilamara and originate primarily from the body painting designs which accompany the Kulama coming of age ceremony and the Pukumani funereal rites. Artists also depict clan totems and Creation Stories. Tiwi artists are renowned for their highly expressive work across a range of media, from painting, printmaking and sculpture, to ceramics and textiles. The characteristic red, yellow, white and black colours of Tiwi art are hand-made from natural ochre pigments collected on country.

See collection at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium Foyer