Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D7 - 5 July 2002

DFAT Takes Tiwi Island Art to the World

The Indigenous art of the Tiwi Islands will receive international exposure through a new exhibition supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Kiripuranji: Contemporary Art from the Tiwi Islands brings together some of the most exciting developments in contemporary art from Bathurst and Melville islands.

Kiripuranji (a Tiwi word meaning ‘clever with our hands’)will be the first opportunity for international audiences to view a wide range of Tiwi art including canvasses, works on paper, ceremonial spears, bark baskets and vibrant textiles.  It builds on the international reputation already enjoyed by the Tiwi Islands for their carved and painted ceremonial poles.

Kiripuranji will be exhibited in the Pacific, Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, United States and South America.  The exhibition will be supported by Australia’s overseas diplomatic missions and is touring as part of DFAT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program.

The exhibition was curated by Artbank, assisted by members of the Tiwi Art Network, Jilamara Arts and Craft Association, Munupi Arts and Crafts Association and Tiwi Design Aboriginal Corporation.

Note for editors/chiefs of staff:

Kiripuranji will be launched at DFAT in Barton, Canberra, on Monday 8 July at 1.00pm.as part of the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week celebrations which run 7-14 July.  Tiwi artists Thecla Bernadette Puruntatameri and Jean Baptiste Apuatimi will attend the launch.  The launch will be preceded by the raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at 12.45pm.

Media inquiries:  Tracey Haines, ATSI Program, DFAT (02 6261 3942) - Izabela Sulek, Marketing Officer, Tiwi Art Network (08 8941 3593)