We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu


circa 1928 – 04 Oct 2003

Language group: Tiwi, North region

Artist profile

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Milikapiti (Snake Bay) Melville Island Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    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
    Accession number
    © Estate of Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

Other works by Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu

See all 26 works