Michelle Bush

Skin: Milipurrula (White Cockatoo)
Dot Texture Short 2

Michelle Bush was born in Milikapiti and has raised a family of four children in the community. Before she joined Jilamara, she worked at the Milikapiti Primary School as an assistant teacher while her children were in attendance. With all of her children now fully grown, Michelle has more time to focus on her artistic practice.


Michelle paints ‘parlini jilamara’, which is old Tiwi design that was painted onto the body during traditional Tiwi pukumani, kulama and smoking ceremonies. The red, yellow and white Michelle uses in her works are natural ochres collected from the local area around Milikapiti, Melville Island. She has also created a screen-printed design for Jilamara Art’s textile line.


Michelle is also employed at Jilamara as an arts worker and has been a strong female leader on the Executive Committee. She was the elected President of the organisation for the year of 2019 and is also a substitute director of the ANKAA organisation, a collective of representatives from art centres across Australia’s top end.


Michelle has been painting at Jilamara since the beginning of 2016 and has represented the art centre at a growing number of group exhibitions, art fairs, event launches and governance conferences.




2022    Yimunga (tribe), Tactile Arts, Darwin

YOYI: Care, Repair, Heal, Gropius Bau, Berlin

Bowness Photography Prize, finalist exhibition Monash Gallery of Art, VIC

Ngininguwula Kurrujipuni (Our Tiwi Ochre Colours), Double Tree Hilton, Darwin

YOYI (dance), Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery, University of Melbourne, VIC

2021    Tiwi Artists, Tiwi Papers, Tarnanthi at Art Gallery South Australia, Adelaide, SA

Jilamara Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA

Yirrinkirripwoja, Tiwi Exhibition, Double Tree Hilton, Darwin

2020    Yalininga Ngaripantingija Ngirramini, Aboriginal Signature Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

Awurankini Jana Yimaninmarrampilya Ningani, Karluwu Ngini Ngawula Ngima, Double Tree Hilton, Darwin

2019    turnuwa amintiya kirijipuni, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA

PUPUNI JILAMARA NGININGWULA, Doubletree by Hilton Darwin, NT

Tarnanthi Art Fair, Tandanya, Adelaide, SA

2018    Nginingawula Awirankiniwaki, Double Tree Hilton, Darwin, NT

2017    Mamirnikiwi Jilamara, Short Street Gallery, Broom, NT

            Yirringinkiri Pwoja, Hilton Double Tree, Darwin, NT





Kluge-Ruhe Art Museum, USA


Artworks by Michelle Bush

Kayimwagakimi jilamara - Painting - Michelle Bush

Kayimwagakimi jilamara



Michelle Bush
120 x 150 cm, locally sourced ochre on linen
Yirrinkiripwoja -  - Michelle Bush




Michelle Bush
image size 41.5 x 58cm, paper size 78 x 53.5cm
Jilamara - Painting - Michelle Bush




Michelle Bush
45 x 45cm, natural ochre on linen
parlini jilamara II (old design) - Painting - Michelle Bush

parlini jilamara II (old design)



Michelle Bush
56 x 76 cm Natural Ochres on Paper