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A Fine Vintage Tiwi Painting, Melville Island, Northern Territory Australia


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Collection No. TB-3297
Size 77cm x 57cm
A Fine Vintage Tiwi Painting, Melville Island, Northern Territory Australia
A Fine Vintage Tiwi Painting, Melville Island, Northern Territory Australia
A Fine Vintage Tiwi Painting, Melville Island, Northern Territory Australia
A Fine Vintage Tiwi Painting, Melville Island, Northern Territory Australia

This beautiful Tiwi Painting is from Melville or Bathhurst Islands which are located approximately 80 kilometers to the north of Darwin in the Northern Territory, at the juncture of the Arafura and Timor seas, the Tiwi Islands comprise Bathurst and Melville Islands.  The islands are home to the Tiwi people – the fiercely independent, culturally unique, and traditional owners of the land. ‘Tiwi’ loosely translates as ‘one people, and island culture is characterized by a shared belief in the need to keep Tiwi customs alive. The language and traditions of the Tiwi are distinct, setting them apart from Aboriginal cultures on mainland Australia. Within this context, Tiwi art has developed over time, across various genres, incorporating and expanding upon traditional motifs drawn from Tiwi people’s understanding of cultural cosmologies.

The Painting is depicting Tiwi Clan Designs that are used on body painting and ceremonial objects for Pukamani Ceremonies.

The painting is in good condition and the ochre colours are still bright & beautiful. I bought this painting when visiting Melville Island in the 1990s. I tried to buy some paintings from different artists at the arts center.

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic and Australian Aboriginal Art