Michelle Pulatuwayu Woody Minnapinni

Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association

Skin: Miyartuwi (Pandanus)
Country: Pupatuwu
Dance: Kapala (Sailing Boat)

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 both nationally and internationally, including coming runner up for the 2018 Summer Salon at Collins Place Gallery in Melbourne and the Rising Stars exhibition at Oustation in Darwin. She often uses the distinct Tiwi pwoja (ironwood comb) to paint depictions of Ngiya Murakupuni (My 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, Relationship 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 young girls.

She is also current Executive President and Gallery Assistant at Jilamara, as well as holding key responsibilities as a director on the ANKA Board (Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists). Since joining Jilamara, Michelle has taken on key governance roles. She was selected for the ANKA Artsworker Extension Program in the same year. She has since completed a Specialist Certificate in Arts Conservation from the Grimwade Centre at the University of Melbourne and has a key role overseeing the Muluwurri Museum collection held at the art centre in Milikapiti. In 2019 was also invited to take part in the Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. In 2020, she was awarded the King Wood Malleson Contemporary Indigenous Art Award. In 2022 she was a finalist in the Hadley Art Prize.