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Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association

Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association is a Tiwi-owned art centre at Milikapiti on Melville Island. Artists at the centre have made a significant contribution to contemporary Indigenous art in Australia since the association was established in 1989. Jilamara, which roughly translates to ‘design’, refers to the intricate ochre patterning traditionally applied to the bodies of dancers and the surface of carved poles during the Pukumani funeral ceremony. This ceremony is still a part of community life and informs the current art practice of the Tiwi people.

Jilamara participates in an ongoing exhibitions program at public and private galleries, and undertakes a range of community development, capacity building and cultural maintenance projects on Melville Island. Jilamara is the work place of highly respected and award-winning Tiwi artists, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Timothy Cook, Raelene Kerinauia, Janice Murray, Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri and Pius Tipungwuti, and provides support and encouragement for young and emerging artists. The centre has supported distinguished elder artists including Kitty Kantilla, Freda Warlapinni, Leon Puruntatameri, and Maryanne Mungatopi.

Artworks from Jilamara are held in all major public and private collections in Australia, along with key collections overseas. The centre also houses the Mulluwurri Museum, which was established in 1988. Mulluwurri is a collection of carvings, Tiwi artefacts, prints and early photographs from the region held in trust for the Milikapiti community.