David Tipuamantumirri

David Tipuamantumirri is an artist with Ngaruwanajirri Inc, a gallery set up in the Keeping House in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island. Ngaruwanajirri is a Tiwi word meaning “helping one another”. The centre has been in operation in Nguiu, Bathurst Islands, since August 1994 and the supports around 16 Tiwi Artists. Members of Ngaruwanajirri create traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Works from Ngaruwanajirri have previuosly been selected for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Awards, travelled in touring exhibitions throughout Australia and have become part of public and private collections in Australia and overseas.

David (left) and his cousin Bruce are pictured above. They have propped themselves outside the Ngarumanajirri workshop as they decorate their day’s work using ochre and charcoal paints. David finishes off the eye of a pelican and yells over the whir of a hairdryer he’s using to dry his work in the 60% humidity of the NT’s Wet: “It’s a pelican……………you know…………like Storm Boy. He’s our friend. Flies around, tells you when there’s a storm coming. It’s special when you go hunting in the swamp, you see lots of pelicans. Save us from danger, they let you know.”