Tiwi Islands Art Exhibition

'Warrumiyanga Way' - works on canvas and paper

The Tiwi Islands are located 100km North of Darwin and comprise of Melville Island, Bathurst Island and nine small uninhabited Islands. 

Whist the Tiwi Islands are part of the Northern Territory, the Tiwi culture is very unique. It is distinguishable by an emphasis on dance (which is still an essential component of everyday life) and the Pukumani ceremony. As well as a skin name, each person has their own dreaming and dance which they inherit. During ceremony, the body is painted in geometric abstract designs, known as ‘jilamara’.

The art of the Tiwi Islands is clearly distinguishable by their fine and intricate designs (many derived from jilamara designs), which is usually applied with the traditional Tiwi painting comb, known as the ‘pwoja’ or ‘kayimwagakimi’. The artists of the Tiwi Islands have explored a vast array of artistic mediums such as painting, prints, Batiks, wood carvings, shell work, and ceramics. Whilst each artist has their own unique aesthetic, there remains a strong emphasis on design and using natural ochres. 

Lillian Kerinaiua - LKE24728 - 45 x 100cms

Tiwi Islander artworks have a special place in Aboriginal art history, associated with the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 1958 gallery deputy director Tony Tuckson and Dr Stuart Scougall commissioned 17 Pukumani grave posts for the gallery’s collection.  Back then, it was a groundbreaking moment for Aboriginal art, as it shifted Aboriginal visual culture to an art gallery setting, rather than an anthropological piece/specimen housed in a museum.

Estelle Munkanome - ESM60410

Tiwi Island art also has an incredible ‘wow’ factor that is bound to delight viewers.  Right now are showing a beautiful selection of works from the Ngaruwanjirri group – a special group which was created to provide employment opportunities for the people of Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu, Bathurst Island) and to support local Tiwi artists with disabilities.

The artists featured in this show include Alfonso Puautjimi, Estelle Munkanome, Lillian Kerinaiua and Lorna Kantilla - each has a unique and very contemporary style, rendered in soft but edgy ochres.

Alphonso Puautjimi's works particularly, are very collectible:  quirky but powerful representations of his visit to the city - cars, planes and buildings suddenly became his theme - so overwhelming was this new visual environment.  The others range from Lorna Kantilla's soft ephemeral works to Lillian Kerinaiua's simply brilliant compositions of quasi geometrical shapes offset with contrasting areas of dense and varied dotwork.

Unfortunately, this very special art centre closed in late 2012 due to a discontinuation of Government funding – a very unhappy situation indeed, particularly for the artists.  Our exhibition is physically located in our 'Charcoal Gallery' on the second level, but also available for viewing on line – web purchases can be made quickly and easily through our secure payment gateway.

We hope you enjoy the artworks as much as we do!

Bush Medicine Leaves by Gloria Petyarrye

Gloria Petyarrye, the matriarch of the Petyarrye family, is known all around the world for her Bush Medicine Leaf Dreaming. 

This beautiful work of Gloria’s encompasses luscious hues of deep reds, gold and yellows which resonate. When you look a little closer, you can see delightful touches of purple/blue. The fluidity of the strokes are wonderful to look at as each brush stroke carries with it pigment from the previous stroke. Bush Medicine leaves are healing leaves of the Kurrajong tree used by women from the Anmatyerre region in traditional bush medicines.  

From my perspective I can feel the healing energy in the work, it is both joyous yet peaceful.  The dimensions of the work, a striking square 120 x 120 cm, make it a statement piece also.  This painting by Gloria will transform and lift any space, it is an exciting work that one cannot help but respond to.

See More Works by Gloria Petyarre

Bush Fire Dreaming by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa

This artwork by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is a powerful and very bold example of a highly skilled and evolved senior artist. You can’t help but get swept across the linen as though you are hovering above a river of volcanic lava. 

This is one of those artworks with an instant wow factor, there is always a moments silence followed by a deep sigh of satisfaction from all the clients who see his work.  

Hung either way, it has the same effect, drama and passion. If you are looking for a work of art that has uniqueness, authority, can be hung in the grandest of offices or adorn the living room wall, I cannot recommend highly enough a bush fire dreaming artwork by Ronnie.

Barbara Weir Charity Exhibition opens Saturday 16 June


 'Grass Seeds'    120 x 182cm    Acrylic on Linen   Normally: $14,975  Sale price: $11,980

Barbara Weir is an extremely talented, inventive, creative, energetic and hard working artist, who paints in a number of different styles and who pushes her own artistic boundaries in doing so.

The cumulative effect of her amazing work ethic, the fact that she comes from Utopia (birthplace of Indigenous womens art and an area about 280km north east of Alice Springs), that she is part of a highly talented family (from her legendary mother, artist Minnie Pwerle, to a number of close relations who were/are respected artists), and not the least, the story of her own difficult life experiences at the hands of the white administration of the day (as a survivor of the 'Stolen Generation', has seen Barbara Weir become a highly collectible artist, and one who continues to grow in stature at a steady rate.

Along with the strong support of the dynamic Utopian community of artists, Barbara's career as an artist was inspired by the work of her adopted grandmother Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Emily's work had a profound impact on her and in the early 1990's she began seriously to explore her artistic talents. Highly experimental in her approach, Barbara tried many mediums and in 1994 went to Indonesia with other artists to explore the art of batik. This gave her new insights into her own process and she returned full of ideas on how to develop her own style. 

Barbara's works constantly draw upon her life force, her country, her ancestry and the ancient stories embodied in her Indigenous culture.  Whilst she paints in several styles, reinventing her voice at the same time, many of her styles are now almost iconic (such as her 'grass seeds' paintings, many of which are featured in this show).

This is a special exhibition, as we are offering  20% off the list price on all featured pieces until the 30th June.  The discount will not affect the artist's income of course, as she has already been paid in full for all the artworks, and in fact will recieve a further 5% Resale Royalty payment on all artworks sold in the show.  

Discounted price offers such as this are rarely offered on Barbara's Weir's works and of course you can pick up a well priced artwork from this opportunity.

Alternately, for those of you who have a philanthropic tendency, please be aware that our gallery now supports the charity 'Sugar in the Bush' in its work to educate and assist remote communities in dealing with Diabetes - a common and difficult to treat condition for Indigenous people, especially in remote areas. Many of our artists suffer from this condition.  This is just one way in which we choose to give back to the Indigenous people who create our beautiful artworks.    

Clients are therefore offered the opportunity to donate all or part of their price discount to 'Sugar in the Bush':  If you do so, your name will be forwarded to the charity along with your donation and tax receipts are available for all donations.

We do hope you will make it along to this special exhibition - enjoy a complimentary glass of wine from our bar and spend some time enjoying Barbara's works as well as the everchanging paintings on show in the rest of the gallery.  We look forward to seeing you soon...