ABOUT Jilamara

In Tiwi language, the term Jilamara refers to body paint design.

Established in 1989, Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association is owned and governed by Tiwi artists from Milikapiti community on Melville Island.

The Tiwi Islands, Bathurst Island & Melville Island, are north of Darwin and have been home to Tiwi people since parlingarri (a long time ago). Milikapiti community is on the coast over overlooking the Arafura Sea. It’s a happy place, with strong families and strong culture.

Through workshops, training, support and representation, Jilamara artists are supported to build careers as internationally renowned artists. In the community, the art centre is an important place for children to learn culture through culture classes and for young people to learn from their elders to build bright futures.

The Muluwurri Museum is an important keeping place for Tiwi culture and stories, important for remembering old ways and the old people who started Jilamara.

For artists and community members, the art centre is a supportive workplace to learn new skills and earn money to support family.

Jilamara Arts is a place for everybody.

Wherever you are in the world, we invite you to learn and celebrate Tiwi culture through our artwork and stories.



Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association is the creative and cultural hub of the Milikapiti community. The art centre represents the artwork of around 60 active artists and employs 9 regular arts workers. Jilamara provides access to employment, education and training and is open to all Tiwi people living in Milikapiti.

The Kutuwulumi Gallery, named after the late Kitty Kantilla, houses artworks for sale. This state of the art building was designed by internationally acclaimed Troppo Architects. It opened in 2012 along with the Murrunungumirri Carvers Shed named after the late Paddy Freddy Puruntatameri and the newly renovated location for the Muluwurri Museum Collection. The women’s shed, named after acclaimed artist Nancy Henry Ripijingimpi plays host to a revived textile screen printing and painting studio.


Jilamara artists are nationally and internationally renowned for their unique Tiwi style. They produce contemporary works based on ceremonial body painting designs, clan totems and Tiwi creation stories.

The Tiwi palette of red, yellow, white and black are made from natural ochre pigments collected on country.

Artwork by Jilamara artists are held in major collections around the world including National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of NSW, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Commonwealth Institute (UK), Gantner Myer Collection (Aus), Wesfarmers Collection (Aus), Gordon & Marilyn Darling Collection (Aus), Levi-Kaplan Collection (USA), The British Museum (UK), Utrecht Aboriginal Art Museum (NL), Musée du quai Branly (Fr), The Israel Museum (Il), Fondation Opale (SW), Kluge-Ruhe Art Museum (USA), University of Melbourne (VIC), University of New South Wales (NSW) and the University of Newcastle (NSW).

Buy Jilamara Artwork Online