29 March, 2007

Tiwi Islands – Where Art and Footy Mix

There are few places in the world where an Aussie Rules grand final and a major art sale go hand-in-hand.

But then the Tiwi Islands, just north of Darwin, have always been different.

While art and footy are unlikely companions in other parts of Australia, some of the Tiwi Islands’ most accomplished artists are also former footy champions and once a year the Tiwi Island Football League Grand Final coincides with the islands’ major art event.

Hundreds of prints, paintings, carvings, fabrics, weavings and ceramics go on sale on the morning of the grand final match in one of the country’s biggest annual Aboriginal art sales.

Sunday April 1 is the day where two integral parts of Tiwi culture come together.

According to Janice Murray, Chairwoman of the Tiwi Art Network, artist at Jilamara Art Centre and supporter of the Muluwurri Magpies from her hometown, Milikapiti (Snake Bay),

“Footy is very important to us, and the final day at Nguiu is great because we get a lot of visitors” said Janice. “On Grand Final Day, many people come to the art centre to look around. We want to show people what our culture is. We hope they will take some Tiwi art home to their families and tell them what it is about.”

“Tiwi art also provides one of our main economic opportunities” said Janice.

Romolo and Immaculata Tipiloura (husband and wife) have been working on a selection of carvings to celebrate football. Their ironwood sculpture, titled “Footy Man”, has become the mascot for this year’s art sale.

The Tiwi Islands Annual Art Sale is organised by the Tiwi Art Network, an alliance of three art centres on the islands; Jilamara Arts & Crafts, Munupi Arts & Crafts and Tiwi Design. The sale runs from 8am to 1pm at Tiwi Design Art Centre and artists, including Janice Murray, will be available for interview. The Tiwi Football Grand Final kicks off at 2pm.

For further information: Niru Perera 0438 519 772 HYPERLINK "http://www.tiwiart.com"


The Tiwi Islands

The Country
Wet Season
Dry Season
Traditional Culture
Modern Culture
Creation Stories
Early Contact
War Effort

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