Telstra NATSIAA – Tiwi finalists

Telstra NATSIAA - Tiwi finalists

Categories: Board, News

This year, Tiwi artists have once again done us proud, with four Telstra NATSIAA Finalists from the Islands!

The Telstra NATSIAA is the longest running and most prestigious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art award in the country. Tiwi artists continue to inspire future generations with their National Award Winning artwork.

Telstra NATSIAA Finalists 2023
(Pictured in order)

Janice Murray Pungautiji (Milikapiti) 
Jilamara (ochre body design), 2023 (Featured photo)

Janice’s work brings together parlinarri (the old) and ningani (the new) in a multimedia installation, featuring locally sourced earth pigments on stringybark either side of a video of the artist applying jilamara or yirinkirripwoja (ceremonial Tiwi ochre body design).

Arnold Joseph Tipiloura (Wurrumiyanga)
Milika/Pungalu (Rocky Point landscape) – A Place of Fertility, 2023

Arnold’s painting depicts the story told by elders of two sisters; the older sister (Arring) went to Milikapiti (Snake Bay) and the younger sister (Pungalu) went to Rocky Point. When these sisters passed away, they became the “ocean rocks” that are potent fertility places for the Tiwi.

Kaye Brown (Milikapiti)
Tutini (Pukumani pole) with Tunga (folded bark basket), 2022

Kaye’s work tells the story of ceremonial and practical obiects and how they relate to her lived experience. “When we finish the ceremony the tunga would be put on top of the [ironwood] Pukumani pole, so the spirit of the person can use and take things with them on their journey,’ she said.

Raelene Kerinauia Lampuwatu (Milikapiti)
Miyaringa (woven pandanus mat), 2022 

Raelene paints with the kayimwagakimi or comb, sometimes called pwoja, which also means bone. In her latest series of paintings, Raelene has been using these established jilamara (ochre body paint designs) to depict the complex weaving patterns of pandanus mats her relatives and friends have made on the Tiwi Islands in the past.

SALON des Refusés

In addition, the painting Pwonga, 2023 by Christine Puruntatameri (Munupi Arts) was selected for the SALON des Refusés, which is an exhibition of works submitted but not accepted into the NATSIAA. The painting tells a story about Pwonga the spider woman who gave us the designs of the web lines and tells us there is water near.

Congratulations to all our Tiwi artists!

The Telstra NATSIAA exhibition is running at Museum & Art Gallery NT until Sunday 14 January, 2024 – or you can explore online.


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