Lot 5 

Pwojo Jilamara

Francesca Puruntatameri (Nellie)

180 x 120 cm
Ochre on linen
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This piece has a reserve.
About the Artist
Francesca attended secondary school at St Johns College in Darwin. After finishing year 11 she returned to her home town of Pirlangimpi.  She took various jobs, working in the bank and library and studied book keeping at the Darwin Community College.  She then took some time for raising her daughter.  Francesca worked for a short time at Munupi Arts in 1993 but left to work at the bakery for a period of 6 months.  She returned to Munupi Arts & Crafts and made an impression with her decorated canvas paintings and gouaches on paper.  From 2009 - 2013 Francesca Purutatameri served as President of Munupi Art.  She has also completed printmaking workshops and assists with fabric screen printing.  Francesca has completed her Certificate II in Arts and Crafts with Batchelor College. 
About the Work
During ceremony on the Tiwi Islands a series of ‘yoi’ (dances), are performed; some are totemic (inherited from the person’s Mother) and some serve to act out the narrative of newly composed songs.  Participants in these ceremonies are painted with turtiyanginari (the different natural ochre colours) in varying designs, transforming the dancers and, in some cases, providing protection against recognition by Mapurtiti (spirits).  These designs can be applied in different ways, one of which is using the pwoja (or kayimwagakimi), a traditional Tiwi ‘comb’ carved with a single row of teeth on one or both ends, usually made using ironwood or bloodwood.  After being dipped in ochre and applied to the body a straight row of dots is imprinted.  Once completed, these dots are then collectively called yirrinkiripwoja (body painting).  Painting of the face also occurs. These significant artistic designs collectively are called ‘Jilamara’.

©  Environmental Defenders Office NT. 

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