John Kelantumama

Other names: Jubilini aka Yell
Date of birth: c 1952
Mother’s country: Wranku
Father’s country: Fourcroy
Skin group: Wantarringa (sun)
Dreaming/dance: Kapala (boat)
Media: Ceramics, ironwood sculpture.

Artists Statement    

"I saw the old people doing their art, their designs looked great. I was keen to learn to keep our culture going. I hope that future generations will feel the same and keep the culture alive with their art. I feel really good when I am doing my art. I watched Eddie Purantatameri make a pot and I decided to make pots myself. I like the wheel, it makes me feel good when I do throwing on the wheel. It took me a month to teach myself how to use the kicking wheel. Some of my designs use traditional colours, red, black white and yellow or I just choose the colours I like before I do decoration. Sometimes I paint salt water crocodile design. I paint it because I like crocodile. On the coil vases and small thrown bowls I painted my body painting design (Jilamara) for my skin group. The old people showed me how to paint up like that for ceremony."

John Patrick Kelantumama (1952-2015) joined the Tiwi Design Studio at Nguiu on Bathurst Island as an apprentice potter in 1976. He was John Bosco Tipiloura’s nephew and had learnt bark carving and design from his father Patrick Kelantumama. During the 1990s, he began to make hand-built ceramic and ironwood sculptures, some of which were cast in bronze. He also continued to make thrown work in the form of bowls strongly decorated in underglaze patterns and large pots. He remained at Tiwi Design as its leading potter until ill health forced him to reduce his hours in 2011. He exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas and curated a number of Tiwi ceramic exhibitions. His work, which is held in most major national collections, may be marked with a painted ‘JPK’.

Selected Exhibitions:

1980   Tiwi Pottery – Bathurst Island. Potters Gallery, Darlinghurst, Sydney
1982   Tiwi Pottery from Bathurst Island, Meat Market Craft Centre, Melbourne
1985  The Second National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
1989  The Sixth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
1999   Tiwi Turtiyangini Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
1999   The Sixteenth National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
1999   Ngawayati, Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney
1999   Nginigawula Tiwi Turtiyangini, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2000   Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney
2000   17th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern  Territory
2000   Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award, Reconciliation Entry with Melbourne Artist, Brendan Hackett, Bronze sculpture ‘Moon Man” cast from Kelantumama’s ironwood carving.
2000   Across the Clarence Strait – Art of the Tiwi, Ancient Earth Indigenous Art Gallery, Cairns
2000   Festival of Pacific Arts, New Caledonia
2001   Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
2001   18TH Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
2002   YIKWANI’ National Gallery of Victoria touring ceramic sculpture exhibition, regional galleries Victoria and Sydney.
2002   19th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
2003   A Survey of Australian Indigenous Ceramics, Ceramic Art Gallery Paddington NSW
2003   20th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
2004   YIKWANI-FIRE Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2004   21st Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
2005   Tayikawapi Ceramics Exhibition, Alcaston gallery Melbourne.
2006   Two Countries; One desert ,One Sea,  Verge National Ceramics Conference Brisbane
2006   August, William Mora Galleries, Tiwi Design bronze exhibition
2006   Yirrajirrima murrakupuni ngawurraningimarri, TAN exhibition Darwin.
2006   Dec-Jan “Tiwi Contemporary Ceramics” Grafton Regional Gallery
2007   November, Sculpture and Object Functional Art Fair, Chicago Jam Factory Contemporary Australian Exhibition
2008   The Lam Collection of Aboriginal Art, at University Texas San Antonia, curated by Scott Sherer, Jan 28-Mar 2 2008
2008  Shepparton Art Gallery Indigenous Ceramic prize exhibition,30Jan-March 2008
2008  Papuranguwi Arikutumurnuwi, Bett Gallery, Hobart 16 Oct – 05 Nov 2008
2008  Christmas show, Alison Kelly Gallery, Melbourne. 23 November – 24 December
2008  From the earth, Indigneous ceramics survey, Jam Factory, Adelaide 13 Dec – 25 Jan09

Collections

University of Texas San Antonia USA
National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
Art Gallery of South Australia
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
FUAM
Queensland Museum
Art Gallery of NSW
Powerhouse Museum
Macquarie University Art Gallery
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
Grafton Regional Gallery
Charles Darwin University Collection

Artworks

Yirrikapayi - Hand Thrown Pot - 2006
John Kelantumama
  • $395.00