Pumpuni Jilamara, 2002 bears artist's name and catalogue number 71-02 on Jilamara Arts and Craft stamp on the reverse natural earth pigments on linen 91 x 62cm (35 13/16 x 24 7/16in).
PROVENANCE: Jilamara Arts and Crafts, Melville Island, Tiwi Islands Purchased from Raft Artspace, Darwin, Northern Territory in March 2002 The Laverty Collection, Sydney
EXHIBITED: Pwoja Jilamara - new works from Jilamara Arts & Crafts, Raft Artspace, Darwin, March 2002, cat. no. 15
This painting is sold with accompanying Jilamara Arts and Crafts documentation.
KITTY KANTILLA The 'Queen of Jilamara', as she came to be known, is one of the outstanding Tiwi artists of the modern period (F. Green in Ryan, J., et al. Kitty Kantilla, Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2007, pp.94- 5). Kitty Kantilla lead a traditional life on Melville Island, although for a period in her early days she spent time at the Catholic mission on Bathurst Island where she was baptised 'Mary Campion.' In the 1970s and 1980s she had moved to live at Paru on Melville Island, along with a group of elder Tiwi women, to distance themselves from European influences. Here she produced painted ironwood sculptures using traditional techniques, and eventually she moved to Milikapiti (Snake Bay) to be closer to her family, where she worked through the local art centre, Jilamara Arts. As she grew older and less able to cope with the exertions of sculpture, she turned to painting on canvas and paper where she could explore at length the body painting designs which she had applied to her figure sculptures.
Kitty Kantilla's painting career is marked by a number of milestones. Her work has been included in several major exhibitions in Australia and abroad including: Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria in 1994; Beyond the Pale, Adelaide Biennale, Art Gallery of South Australia in 2000; The Dark and the Light at the Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria in 2001; in 2002 she won the Work on Paper section of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award; the Clemenger Contemporary Art Award in 2003; and EXPLAINED, A closer look at Aboriginal art at the AAMU Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2004. The culmination of Kantilla's career came posthumously when the National Gallery of Victoria mounted a major retrospective exhibition of her work in 2007.
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