During ceremony on the Tiwi Islands a series of ‘yoi’ (dances), are performed; some are totemic (inherited from the person’s Mother) and some serve to act out the narrative of newly composed songs. Participants in these ceremonies are painted with turtiyanginari (the different natural ochre colours) in varying designs, transforming the dancers and, in some cases, providing protection against recognition by mapurtiti (spirits). These designs can be applied in different ways. Ochre is applied to the body and face. These significant artistic designs collectively are called ‘Jilamara’.
This painting was the last painting that the artist painted before she passed away on September 17 2016. It was exhibited one month before in the Tiwi Islander Art Exhibition in Darwin and subsequently in Singapore in February 2017. Art Mob acquired it in June 2017.