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Munupi Magic

There’s treasure on Tiwi. Thousands of years of Tiwi Islands history and culture is shared through traditional artworks created by artists of the region, using natural ochres in hues of yellow, red, white and black.

This month, hundreds of artworks from Pirlangimpi community on Melville Island make the voyage across the sea to Darwin for the third annual Munupi Arts Christmas Pop Up Sale.

By Tierney Seccull

Kicking off in 2019, Munupi Arts Manager Guy Allain says the market offers the opportunity for the Art Centre to engage with their loyal Darwin customer base.

“I think it’s really nice to connect with our Darwin friends, and offer them a good selection of artwork for their Christmas presents, for their family or for their friends,” he says.

“We are just across the Arafura Sea, but we love coming back to connect with all of our friends in Darwin. This year, we’re bringing two to three hundred beautiful, stunning paintings on canvas or linen with us.”

Staying true to Munupi’s ethos, some of their talented artists are also in tow.

“We always travel with our artists, it’s a priority, and will have two to three in Darwin. There’s something special about being there physically with the artworks, and to be able to talk to the artists directly and ask questions.”

Although recent years have been challenging, 2022 has been a big year for the artists of Munupi.

“It’s been challenging for everybody, but we’ve managed to operate and strengthen our presence in the art world,” Allain says.

“One of our artists, Alison Puruntatameri, was a finalist in the Telstra NATSIAA this year, and also a finalist in the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery NSW. Six of our artists were selected for The Alice Prize, and we also had an exhibition in Sydney.

“Considering all of the trauma and difficulty COVID threw everybody, we managed to keep on working. Everybody has worked really hardbut we feel like we’ve been really lucky.”

If you can’t make it to the pop up, but are keen to support Munupi Arts, a range of works are available to purchase from their website. But, if you can make it, Allain urges you to stop by and say g’day.

“We just want to thank all of the Darwin supporters. They always come to support us, even when it’s the footy final – we have a really good relationship and we want to keep it up!”

Munupi Arts Pop Up Christmas Sale
WED 16 – SUN 20 NOV | 10AM-5PM

Photos: Jacqueline Puruntatameri, 'Milimika' (detail), 2022, ochre on canvas, 120x80cm

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