Tiwi: Art, history, culture - Art Collector

5 December 2012 | The art and history of Tiwi culture is the subject of a new publication by art writer and curator Jennifer Isaacs.

The Tiwi Islands are about 100km off the coast of Darwin, and are culturally distinct from mainland Aboriginal Australia.

The lengthy hardback includes chapters on the Bathurst and Melville Island art centres, including Jilamara, Tiwi Design and Munupi, and traces the progression from craft-based activities like printing on fabric and pottery to a greater focus on fine art.

Featured artists include Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, Maria Josette Orsto, Timothy Cook and Pedro Wonaeamirri.

Isaacs, in her earlier chapters on the history of Tiwi culture, also discusses Tiwi cosmology and ceremonies, references to which can be found in much of the contemporary art coming out of the Tiwi Islands. Cook, for example, repeatedly refers to the Kulama or yam ceremony.


Tiwi: Art, history, culture is published by the Miegunyah Press.

Jane O'Sullivan


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