“My father taught me everything about carving, how to use carving tools, what wood to use and what colours. He was the late great Murrunungumirri (Paddy Freddy)” – Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri
Patrick began painting with Jilamara Arts and Craft when he left school at 17. He has been part of the organisation as it has developed into a prominent arts organisation since the late 1980s. He said he always wanted to be an artist, learning from his father Paddy Freddy Puruntatameri, a highly respected and renowned carver.
Paddy taught young Patrick “to do this and to do that”. He drew for him, taught him how to use the chisel and mallet properly as well as showing him the right wood to use for carving and to make spears. Paddy showed him the right colours for painting, how to make red and where to get it.
Patrick is a loving father of five children and a well-respected senior artist at Jilamara – he is well known for skillfull carvings of his totem the jurrukukuni (owl). He manages the Jilmara carving workshop, which is named after his father and is a mentor for younger artists learning traditional Tiwi carving and jilamara (body paint design)
His works are held in many major collections Australia wide including the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne) and the Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane). He has had great success throughout his long career including major group and solo exhibitions. Most recently Patrick has been commissioned to make tutini poles for Paralika tutini Jilamara (2019) – a major group exhibition of Tiwi tutini at the Art Gallery of South Australia and NIRIN: the 22nd Biennale of Sydney at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2020).