This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) presents Being Tiwi, an exhibition of new works and recent acquisitions that highlight the dynamic work of nine contemporary artists from the Tiwi Islands. Opening to the public on 21 December 2015, Being Tiwi reveals how the expressive and experimental work being produced on the Islands continues to realise in different forms the Tiwi traditions of life and culture.
Co-curated by MCA Senior Curator, Natasha Bullock and Curator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Programs, Keith Munro, Being Tiwi features a range of artworks from print media to painting. The exhibition includes the first prints produced at Tiwi Design, a selection of works on paper newly acquired for the MCA Collection along with works commissioned especially for the exhibition.
Located approximately 80km north of Darwin in the Northern Territory, the Tiwi Islands encompasses Bathurst and Melville Islands. Emerging, established and senior artists from all three art centres are represented through the work of Pedro Wonaeamirri, Timothy Cook,Raelene Kerinauia from Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association; Maria Josette Orsto from Tiwi Design Aboriginal Corporation; Cornelia Tipuamantumirri, Nina Puruntatameri from Munupi Art & Crafts Association; and senior artist Bede Tungutalum, founding member of Tiwi Design and now working independently on Bathurst Island.
MCA Senior Curator Natasha Bullock and MCA Curator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Programs, Keith Munro, said: “The selection of artists offers an insight into contemporary art practice from the Tiwi Islands. Being Tiwi highlights how these approaches have evolved over time from the earliest work in the collection to the most recent.”
Being Tiwi builds upon the MCA’s strong history of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, artists and communities, as evidenced earlier this year in the gallery’s ground-breaking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy.
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
21 December 2015 to 21 February 2016
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring a curatorial overview, commissioned essays, reproductions of exhibited and contextual works and biographical information on the artists. Commissioned writers include Madeleine Clear (the first Art centre Manager of Tiwi Design) on the establishment of Tiwi Design, Diana Wood Conroy (Emeritus Professor Visual Arts at the Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts at the University of Wollongong and art centre manager of Tiwi Design in 1974) on her ongoing professional association with Bede Tungutalum, Clotilde Bullen (former Curator of Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia) on Bede Tungutalum, Dr Una Ray (Lecturer, University of Newcastle and former manager of Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association from 2000-2002) on Raelene Kerinauia, Tina Baum (Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia) on Pedro Wonaeamirri and Jennifer Issacs (Author Tiwi: Art, History, Culture Miegunyah Press 2012) on Cornelia Tipuamantimiri, plus MCA curators Natasha Bullock on Timothy Cook, Keith Munro on Maria Josette Orsto and Manya Sellers on Nina Puruntatameri.
The MCA Australia’s all new app will feature an Artwork Tour and audio.
The MCA produces a range of events and programs which explore the exhibition in more detail, many of which are free.
Celebrating the artists and culture of the Tiwi islands artists enjoy a special three day program. Hear directly from the participating artists as they share their influences, culture and ideas. See www.mca.com.au for further details and bookings.
PANEL DISCUSSION: EXPERIMENTING WITH PRINT & TUNGA
How do Aboriginal artists learn from each other, collaborate and experiment with print? Art centres across Northern and Western Australia provide contexts for cultural exchange that operate in unique ways. Hear from some for the exhibiting artists in conversation with curator Keith Munro as they discuss the role of art centres in their communities and their views on print making.
Thursday 11 February, 6–7.30pm. MCA Veolia Lecture Theatre. FREE, bookings recommended.
ARTIST TALK: PEDRO WONAEAMIRRI
In this special talk, hear directly from the artist Pedro Wonaeamirri discuss his works in the exhibition Being Tiwi.
Friday 12 February, 1–2pm. MCA Galleries, Level 1. FREE, drop-in.
PRINT & TUNGA (Bark): PRINT WORKSHOP WITH MARIA JOSETTE ORSTO
Join artist Maria Josette Orsto for a morning of exchange, storytelling and art making as she shares her print making techniques.
Saturday 13 February, 10.30–12.30pm. MCA Creative Studios, Level 3. Bookings required, limited capacity. $15/$10 MCA Members and Concessions.
PERFORMANCE & GUIDED TOUR WITH THE ARTISTS
Enjoy a guided tour, performance and discussion in the galleries with some of the exhibiting artists from Being Tiwi. Take part in a rare opportunity to exchange with the artists from Tiwi Islands.
Saturday 13 February, 1–2pm. MCA Galleries, Level 1. FREE, drop-in.
ARTIST & CURATOR FILM PICKS SUMMER SEASON
Get inside the mind of artists and curators by watching some of their favourite films. Every Saturday at 2pm. MCA Veolia Lecture Theatre. FREE, drop-in. See mca.com.au for films and classifications.
Being Tiwi films will screen on Saturdays 6, 13, 20, 27 February, 2pm.