Columbiere Tipungwuti

Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association

Skin: Wulinjuwula (Mosquito)
Country: Wurankuwu
Dance: Jarrangini (Buffalo)

Columbiere is a personality on the Tiwi Islands who is hard to miss. Although coming to art making later in life, he is quickly establishing himself as a painter that draws on old stories and designs to create new and exciting work.

He travels between the island communities regularly and everyone knows when he’s in town, as you can hear his wild laughter fill the art centre or from across the street at the Milikapiti shop. Columbiere is an incredible dancer and often performs for the art centre at public outcomes and for film productions that travel to the islands.

His artwork draws on parlingarri (old/creation time) stories, Tiwi ceremonies and jilamara (body paint design). He is becoming most well-known for his representations of Japarra (the Moonman) an ancestral figure in the Tiwi creation story that indirectly brings about mortality to the Tiwi people by sleeping with his brother’s wife Wai-ai.