Michelle Pulatuwayu Woody Minnapinni
Skin: Miyartuwi (Pandanus)
Michelle Woody is a strong Tiwi culture woman and artist whose distinct painting style is becoming increasingly recognised on a national level. She has shown in a range of exhibition formats, including coming runner up for the 2018 Summer Salon at Collins Place Gallery in Melbourne and the Rising Stars exhibition at Outstation in Darwin the following year. In 2020, she was awarded the King Wood Malleson Contemporary Indigenous Art Award. She often uses the distinct Tiwi pwoja (ironwood comb) to paint depictions of Murrakupupuni (Country), winga (saltwater) and jlamara (Tiwi body paint design).
Michelle moved from Pirlangimpi to Milikapiti in the 1980’s, she attended high school at St John’s in Darwin and Slade in Brisbane. She has worked in counselling support for Indigenous Health, Relationships Australia and the Red Cross. In 2012 she started painting at Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association with her partner Nicholas Mario, whilst raising their three daughters.
Since joining Jilamara, Michelle has taken on key governance roles such as being elected President of the organization from 2020-2022, as well as a director on the ANKA Board (Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists). She is an employed artsworker at Jilamara and oversees the Muluwurri Museum collection held at the art centre. In 2019 she completed a Specialist Certificate in Arts Conservation from the Grimwade Centre at the University of Melbourne. She was selected for the ANKA Artsworker Extension Program in 2018 and in 2019 was also invited to take part in the Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. Michelle has also published articles and essays on Tiwi art and culture, including for the National Gallery of Victoria’s TIWI exhibition publication in 2020.