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Jean Batiste Apuatimi

4 - 25 March 2005

In partnership with Tiwi Design

Click images for full artwork details

Jean Baptiste Apuatimi was born circa 1940 in her country Munupi on the north-west coast of Melville Island. Her father Ambrose Tipungwuti named her Pulukatu (female buffalo).

Jeans education was through the missionaries at Nguiu Bathurst Island where she met her late husband Declan Apuatimi. Jean left the convent at fourteen to marry Declan and together they raised eleven children, six currently surviving.

Declan a gifted dancer, singer and artists taught Jean how to mix ochre for painting and the importance of preserving Tiwi culture through ceremony and art.

Her own art style was influenced by watching her husband carve and create the designs painted on ceremonial pukumani poles.

On first impression Jean appears frail and quiet a contradiction to the power and strength that belies her art. Jean is a meticulous painter to watch, her carefully applied brush strokes and compositions of cross hatching and dots and other detailing are often painted on a black background using a selection of bright ochre’s, she takes great care to keep the pigments pure and not be dulled by intermixing.

Her paintings are striking and complex depicting the Pukamani mourning ceremony performed to ensure the safe departure of the dead to their spirit home, Kalama ceremony celebrating the new season cycle ensuring that sickness and danger are averted for another year.

Jeans direction as painter to draw on her experiences to create original forms of expression has culminated in her 9thsolo show at RAFT artspace in Darwin.

Jeans work is exhibited throughout Australia and abroad, and is represented in national and international collections.

Exhibition coincided with Line Artists of the Stone Country's exhibition at the RAFT gallery upstairs

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