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

Title

Untitled

2001

Artist

Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu

Australia

circa 1928 - 04 Oct 2003

Language group

Tiwi, North region

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Milikapiti (Snake Bay) Melville Island Northern Territory Australia
    Date
    2001
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    ochres on paper
    Dimensions
    56.0 x 76.0 cm sheet
    Credit
    Purchased 2002
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    7.2002
    Copyright
    © Estate of Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu. Licensed by Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection

    26

    Share
  • About

    The specific geometric designs that are the hallmark of Tiwi art are usually applied to a dark background. In a bold move around 1997 Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu, also known as Kitty Kantilla, reversed this aesthetic and began to produce paintings of delicately painted dots and lines on white. The white background helped give the paintings a light, ethereal quality and marked a strong contrast with her previous works painted on black such as the three works in the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection, acquired in 1995.

    The decorative motif mulypinyini amintiya pwanga (lines and dots) forms a common basis for many of the abstract designs that are said to have no specific meaning. The imagery in these paintings, 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). Thus Tiwi art generally avoids reference to totems, Dreamings, or stories connected with the palaneri or Creation Period.

    Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu's legacy is continued in the work of artists such as Pedro Wonaeamirri whose works demonstrate the continuation of Tiwi traditions with his own innovation of design and aesthetic.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

Other works by Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu

See more works