Ngiya Murrakupupuni (My Country), 2021

120 × 120 cm
In her paintings, Michelle applies Tiwi earth pigments using the Kayimwagakimi comb — a toothed painting tool carved from locally harvested ironwood and used in ceremonial Tiwi body painting. In the long-standing tradition of her ancestors, she also works in natural ochres sourced on country around Milikapiti. These materials are collected, crushed and burned into the three traditional colours of the island landscape: white, yellow and red. “Artwork makes me think about the wulimawi (old people)…like going out on Country, same feeling. It makes me feel emotional, makes me think about my Ancestors and how they used to live. We need to keep that culture alive through art, ceremony and spending time on Country.” – Michelle Woody Minnapinni Michelle’s painterly forms are reminiscent of elements of the iconic Tiwi Murrakuupupuni (Country). These include winga (salt water), makatinga (flowing fresh water) and where the two meet in the tidal estuaries of the Tiwi Islands, as well as Japarra and Japalinga (the moon and stars). In a great culmination of Tiwi art practice Michelle uses an iconic tool for creating jilamara (Tiwi body paint design) and material of the landscape to create contemporary representations of Ngiya Murrakupupuni (My Country).
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