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


Jilamara design



Cornelia Tipuamantumirri


circa 1930 – Dec 2022

Language group: Tiwi, North region

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Melville Island Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Tiwi, Pularumpi, Melville Island, North Region
    Media category
    Materials used
    natural pigment on canvas
    180.7 x 120.2 x 3.0 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Cornelia Tipuamantumirri, courtesy Munupi Arts and Crafts/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Cornelia Tipuamantumirri

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Cornelia Tipuamantumirri is a Tiwi artist who works through the Munupi Art Centre at Pularumpi on Melville Island. The Tiwi people of Bathurst and Melville Island, have a distinct culture and they share a visual language known as jilamara (design) based on the innumerable configurations of mulypinyini pwanga (lines and dots). These designs are individually conceived and may be used in ceremony, body painting and artworks.

    Tipuamantumirri began painting in 2010, since then she has established herself as an innovative artist. Through 'Jilamara design' 2014, she communicates her personal impression of jilamara, whilst still connecting to the collective and communally shared Tiwi culture.

    Tipuamantumerri's detailed dot and line design can be considered as an extension or rather a continuation that follows her previous practice as a skilled weaver. Her works are made with the traditional Tiwi wooden kayimwagamiki (comb), to create lines of ochre dots, in subtle variations of colour and intensity. On the deep black background these undulating lines create areas of shifting light and movement, within the fluid geometry that expands and contract across the canvas.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Melville Island

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Cornelia Tipuamantumirri