Art, Culture, Country

Partnering with remote Indigenous Art Centres to deliver a landmark digital project that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create and share unique arts and cultural experiences with the world.


Art, Culture, Country

Partnering with remote Indigenous Art Centres to deliver a landmark digital project that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create and share unique arts and cultural experiences with the world.

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Art Centres

Munupi Arts & Crafts

Munupi Arts & Crafts Association is located along Melville Islands north-western coastline at Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) and is the most recently formed art centre on the Tiwi Islands. In 1990 the Yikikini Women’s Centre and Pirlangimpi Pottery were incorporated under the name Munupi Arts and Crafts Association giving local artists an opportunity to proudly celebrate Tiwi culture through both traditional and contemporary mediums. For 25 years, Munupi Art has been a vital meeting place for the Tiwi people of the Pirlangimpi community for employment, cultural pride and well being. Munupi Art is wholly indigenous owned and governed. Generated income supports the artist’s families and therefore the whole Tiwi community.

Pirlangimpi Community Melville island, NT 0822

Featured Artists

Born: 1959

Reppie Papajua (Orsto) has worked at Munupi Arts & Crafts since its beginning in 1985. In those early day of Munupi Arts she produced numerous intricate fabric and t-shirt designs as well as paintings. In 1989 Reppie created designs for the Territoriana label in Darwin. Reppie Orsto participated in Munupi’s first printmaking workshop in Canberra in 1990. In June 1992 she travelled to Paris to attend the opening of the Munupi Exhibition at The Australian Embassy. In August 1994 Reppie attended, at the invitation of the Canadian Government, the exhibition “Epama Epam! Everything has Meaning: An Exhibition of Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Australia” which coincided with the Olympic Games. In 2002 Reppie Orsto had her first solo show at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne. Reppie continues to create large and small ochre paintings at the Munupi Art Centre. Reppie Papajua (Orsto) works are held in many private and public collections

Born: 1977

Josephine Burak is the daughter of respected custodian of traditional medical knowledge, Lydia Burak. Having gained her mother’s carving skills as well as painting skills Josephine Burak often prepares her own pwoja (comb, painting tool) to shape it to her exact needs. Josephine’s paintings will often feature the significant Kulama Ceremony and her designs are also wonderfully reminiscent of astronomic star charts. A committed artist, Josephine has been in previous years one of the directors of the Art Centre and she is currently employed as Assistant Manager of the Art Centre where she contributes to its day-to-day management and operations.

Born: 1959

Marie was born in Bathurst Island hospital and went to St Theresa School in Wurrimiyanga and then St John College in Darwin. After school she became a bi-lingual assistant teacher, literacy worker and translator. Marie moved to Pirlangimpi with her husband and 3 children a long time ago. She has worked with the Art Centre for many years while teaching and doing other jobs in the Community.

Born: 1993

Leon used to watched his mother Nina (Lidwina) Puruntatameri paint. In 2017 Leon asked his mother if he could paint like her. Nina was taught by her father, Leon’s grandfather Romuald Puruntatameri who was a great artist, cultural leader and songman. Leon started to paint in 2017. He only paints with natural ochres: red, yellow and white on black background. Through his paintings he tells everything about his life in Pirlangimpi, painting in the Tiwi way. Leon was a finalist in the 2021 Telstra NATSIAA and also in the 2021 Churchie Emerging Artist Award.

Born: 1975

Theresa finished school at Slade College, Brisbane in 1991. She then worked at the Yikikini Womens Centre alongside her mother and sisters. Theresa was then helping old people to collect barks and make the fire to prepare the barks to make the Tungas (bark basket) . Theresa also used to go with her mother, Susan Wanji Wanji and other artists to pick up pandanus and the natural root for dyes to make baskets. Theresa continued working alongside her sisters at the Munupi Art Centre. As Theresa started to work at the art centre the saw her welcoming visitors and explaining the meaning of the artists artworks. Theresa has completed a Certificate II in Arts & Crafts, Batchelor Institute. Theresa is continuing to develop her art practices and participated in numerous exhibitions and art events. In October 2005 she traveled to Brisbane where she was nominated for the Momentos Awards for her Stingray jewellery collection.

Born: 1975

Paulina Puruntatameri, who is also known as Jedda, is a senior Cultural Leader and advisory to the Munupi Boards of Director. Her interests are looking and preserving culture, language, art and songs. Jedda is also passionate about digital archiving and repatriation of our old artefacts that have been taken from the Tiwi Islands. She hopes that one day they will returns back to their rightful place.

Born: 1984

Alison was born in Pirlangimpi on Melville Island. Alison paints at Munupi with her mother Paulina (Jedda) Puruntatameri, her partner James Orsto and the other artists. It was Alison’s grandfather, Justin Puruntatameri (deceased) a senior law man who told Alison she should have a go at painting. He knew all the old songs and remembered visits by the Maccassans to the Tiwi Islands when he was a boy.  Alison would listen to his stories of his paintings at the art centre and on Country. He used to take the family hunting when she was little. Alison started painting at Munupi Arts Centre in late 2011, and was a finalist in the Museum of Contemporary Arts 2014 Primavera Art Award.

Born: 1959

Carol Puruntatameri was born in 1959 on Wurrumiyanga (Bathurst Island).When Carol was 10 years old the family moved to Pirlangimpi, Melville Island,her fathers country.’When old man, my father’s brother Justine Puruntatameri, did painting he brought all us children and grandchildren to the Munupi Art Centre teaching us to carry on. I used to watch my father painting Pukumani poles and during Kuluma ceremony he was painting his body by holding the mirror. Our fathers told all us girls: “Go down and cut sticks from mangroves to use in the ceremony”. The sticks were put in a circle around the middle circle and the men go out and collect the Kulama (bush yam). We were all there, all my family, when our fathers were doing Kuluma ceremony.” Carol started painting at Munupi in 2010.

Born: 1971

Thecla Puruntatameri was born at Nguiu, Bathurst Island (Wurrumyianga) and grew up on Melville Island at Garden Point (Pirlangimpi). In 2002 after completing a Certificate II in Arts and Crafts at Batchelor College Thecla started to work as an assistant teacher at the Pirlangimpi School until she retired from her teaching assistant positon in 2017. Since this time Thecla has painted on canvas and on paper with natural ochres at Munupi. Thecla participated in print making workshops in Canberra (1998), the Pacific Arts Festival Raratonga, Cook Islands (1992) and cultural exchanges with Indigenous artists from Tasmania and Victoria. Thecla’s artworks are included in many private collections in Australia and overseas as well as in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Born: 1958

Osmond (Ozzie) Pangiraminni was Born at Bathurst Island in 1958 and went to school at Garden Point Primary School on Melville Island. After dopping out of high school Osmond worked as the Janitor at the primary school from 1978-1990. When he retired, he decided to paint at the Munupi Art Centre. He used to watch his father paint and carve the ceremonial poles. He taught Osmond culture and passed on his skills as an artist and ceremonial leader. One of Osmond’s Tutunis (Ceremonial Poles) is in the South Australian Art Gallery Collection and one is in a private collection in Belgium.He creates intricate paintings depicting ceremonial designs. Osmond is a Senior Ceremonial Singer and Dancer.

Born: 1992

Region: Pinyanapi

Rebekah was born in Darwin, and raised between communities of Pirlangimpi and Wurrimyanga. Her Country is Pinyanapi, and she gets her Dreaming, Country and blood from her father. Rebekah grew up going to ceremonies (kulama) and funerals with her grandparents. Her grandfather was a strong culture man who would make sure Rebekah and her three sisters leant to participate in their culture. Rebekah grew up sketching landscapes with her father Daryl, and in 2018 that took up painting. Rebekah has found that painting helps her emotional and social wellbeing. She is glad that she has something that helps connect with her culture and everyday life.

Born: 1979

Simplicia Tipungwuti was born in 1979 on Bathurst Island. She went to the catholic primary school.Simplicia’s mother moved to Pirlangimpi with her when she was 13 years old. and she has lived there ever since. Simplicia met her partner in Pirlangimpi and they have had 5 children. Simplicia’s mother in-law Virginia Galarla paints at the Art Centre. Simplicia joined the Munupi Art Centre in 2019. She is an emerging artist who prefers working on larger canvases with her intricate and unique stye.

Born: 1971

LidwinaTepomitari Puruntatameri was taught to paint by her father, Romuald Puruntatameri. As a 14 year old, she would come home from school and work with him, painting his spears. Lidwina Puruntatameri has worked at both Nguiu Adult Education and Munupi Arts & Crafts doing bark painting, screen printing, works on linen, etchings and linocuts. In 1993 Lidwina Puruntatameri won the Award for New Medium at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAAS) in Darwin, providing recognition for her exceptional skills in etching. In recent years Lidwina has worked mainly on canvas using ochres and her works sought after. Lidwina’s father, Romuald Puruntatameri, is represented in the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory Collection and her grandfather, Paddy Teeampi Tepomitari Puruntatameri, and her aunt, Rosina Puantulura, both carvers, are represented in the Melbourne Museum Collection. Lidwina’s work is represented in many Australian and International private and public collections.

A Project by Agency

UPLANDS is an immersive digital project that has been designed to celebrate Indigenous Art Centres and share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic and cultural practices with the world.

This large scale immersive digital mapping project features over twenty remote Indigenous Art Centres, and interviews with over 150 Indigenous artists and arts workers from across the country.

UPLANDS is a project by Agency and has been funded by the Australian Government through the Restart to Invest, Sustain and Expand (RISE) program and the Indigenous Visual Art Industry Support (IVAIS) program.




Principal Partner

Government Partners

Project Partners

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Sovereign Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We extend our respects to their Ancestors and all First Nations peoples and Elders past, present, and future.