Pumpuni Jilamara: Tiwi Art
29 June 2002 - 5 January 2003, 10am - 5pm daily
Except Christmas Day
Yiribana Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Gallery, Lower Level 3

Laurie Nelson Tuki-al-ila, Bob One Gala-ding-wama, Big Jack Yarunga, Don Burak-madjua, Charlie Quiet Kwangdini and unknown artist, Pukumani grave posts 1958. Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959

In January 1959 the Art Gallery of New South Wales took delivery of seventeen tutini or pukumani graveposts that had been carved and painted at Milikapiti on Melville Island in October 1958. The poles were commissioned by the Gallery's Deputy Director Tony Tuckson and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Stuart Scougall, who were both present when the poles were made.

These tutini were the first large commission of Aboriginal art for a public art collection and have remained on prominent display ever since. As a group they form the centrepiece of the Art Gallery's outstanding collection of Aboriginal art of this era.

Pumpuni Jilamara is an exhibition devoted to this and other artworks by the Indigenous people of Melville and Bathurst Islands, off the north coast of Australia: the Tiwi people.

Tiwi ceremonial life brings together all aspects of Tiwi art - song, dance, body decoration, sculpture and painting. According to James Bennett, 'the expressive power of mature Tiwi art has its source in the dynamic visual tension between concept and decoration where neither becomes subservient to the other.' [James Bennett, Narrative and Decoration in Tiwi Paintings: Tiwi Representations of the Purukuparli Story, Art Bulletin of Victoria No. 33, 1993, pp39-47]

Featured artists include Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu (better known as Kitty Kantilla), Taracarijimo Freda Warlapinni and Pedro Wonaeamirri.

Sponsored by  Qantas

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