Janice Murray Pungautiji
Skin: Tarnikini (Flying Fox)
Dance: Jarrikarlani (Turtle)
Janice Murray lives in Milikapiti, Melville Island, and has been an exhibiting member of Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association since 1995. Janice is widely regarded for her paintings, printmaking and carving, having received many professional accolades during her significant career. She has worked for decades with the Australian Print Workshop in Melbourne on various projects and residencies and is well known for her incredible edition prints. She has also received public commissions and two iterations of her aluminum birds are installed at the Darwin waterfront and in Sydney.
Janice has a strong knowledge of culture, country and language on the Tiwi’s and her compositions develop as contemporary adaptations of Jilamara, or body paint design applied to dancers, tutini poles and tunga (bark bags) during ceremony.
Birds are a common subject for Janice and reflect the significance of these animals to the Tiwi people. The abundance of bird life on the islands is apparent and these creatures feature heavily in Tiwi creation stories as messengers to the people – most notably in the story of Purukupali where birds warn him that his son Jinani has died bringing mortality to the Tiwi people. Janice’s traditional country on the island is Tinganu, an area to the far East of the community. During ceremony her totem dance is ‘Jarrangini’ (Turtle).