Skin: Wantaringuwi (Sun)
Wally Brooks is a young carver and artist at Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association. He is mentored by senior carver Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri and spends most of his days working in the open air Murrunungumirri carving workshop. He uses locally sourced ironwood and earth pigments to make tokwampini (birds), figurative works which represent the Tiwi creation story, tutuni poles and ceremonial spears.
After finishing High School at Tiwi College here on Melville Island, Wally lived for a while at Pirlangimpi (Garden Point), but then moved to Milikapiti with his partner to bring up their young family. He started working at Jilamara in 2017.
Wally is also a staff member at the organization, collecting ironwood and ochres for the studios and he also heads up the bark collecting team during wet season – harvesting and seasoning purrungupari (flat barks) and tunga (bark baskets) for artists to paint throughout the year. Wally is also a keen dancer contributes to many of the funded culture projects here at the art centre, often helping senior artists teach culture and share skills with the local primary and high school students through the Culture Class program. He has sat on the Executive Committee of the organisation and is a strong voice for the art centre’s young membership.
In 2019, he was a significant part of Paralika Tutini Jilamara, a major install of Tiwi tutini poles at the Art Gallery of South Australia for Tarnanthi. He travelled to Adelaide for the opening and performed Tiwi Yoyi (dance) for the projects public program. He is also part of the collaborative artist-led film project YOYI (dance) which premiered internationally at Gropius Bau in Berlin and was curated into The National 4: Australian Art Now at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.