Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association is an incorporated, non-profit, Tiwi-owned and governed organisation based on Melville Island in the Northern Territory. The Art Centre is the creative and cultural hub of the Milikapiti community, which is situated in Snake Bay on the north coast of the island. The organisation is open to all members of the local Tiwi community, currently representing around 60 active artists and employing nine regular arts workers. It provides both professional support and access to employment, education and training.
The Art Centre houses the Kutuwulumi Gallery, named after the late Kitty Kantilla, and offers a range of paintings, carvings and hand printed textiles for sale. This state-of-the-art building was designed by internationally acclaimed Troppo Architects. It opened in 2012 along with the Murrunungumirri Carvers Shed, named after the late Paddy Freddy Puruntatameri, and the newly renovated location for the more historical Muluwurri Museum Collection. The women’s shed, named after acclaimed artist Nancy Henry Ripijingimpi, plays host to a revived screen printing workshop and painting studios.
Jilamara artists are nationally and internationally renowned for their unique, traditional Tiwi style. They produce contemporary works based on ceremonial body painting designs, clan totems and Tiwi creation stories.
The Tiwi palette of red, yellow, white and black is made from ochre pigments collected on Country around Melville Island.
Collectors and art enthusiasts can access Jilamara Arts and Crafts via Hardy Aviation carter flights and Fly Tiwi services from Darwin. Some work can also be viewed and purchased online or through contacting the Art Centre directly.
Image: Timothy Cook, Kulama, 2019. Locally sourced natural ochres, binder, linen, 150 x 120cm.