The imagery in Kitty Kantilla's art, like that of most Tiwi art, is derived from the jilimara or ceremonial body painting and the decoration applied to Pukamani funeral poles and associated ritual objects made for the Pukamani ceremony. Traditionally, the participants in funeral ceremonies decorate themselves with a rich variety of ochre designs so as to conceal their true identity from harm by malevolent mapurtiti (spirits of the dead).
Kitty Kantilla is one of the most senior and important Tiwi artists working at the present time and this print mark the introduction of the etching technique to her list of media which includes painting on canvas, bark and paper as well as wood carving. The decorative motif mulypinyini amintiya pwanga (lines and dots) forms a common basis for many of the abstract designs. In these works, delicate linear fields divide and replicate along the length of the etchings. These parallel the division and replication of discrete fields of lines, dots and solid colour in her paintings. Subtle undertones deriving from the direct manner in which these etchings were produced underlie Kantilla's linework and contribute to the delicacy inherent in this print.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 1999
Place where the work was made
etching on white Velin Arches paper
19.4 x 88.4 cm image; 21.9 x 98.0 cm sight; 59.7 x 125.3 x 3.8 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1999
Not on display
© Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Another Country, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Jul 1999–02 Apr 2000
Title Deeds: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Works from the Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Jul 2000–05 Nov 2000