Important Australian Aboriginal Art
30 March 2022


(c.1928 - 2003)

natural earth pigments and synthetic binder on canvas

127.0 x 79.0 cm

bears inscription verso: artist's name and Jilamara Arts and Crafts cat. 138 – 00

$20,000 – $30,000
Sold for $28,227 (inc. BP) in Auction 68 - 30 March 2022, Melbourne

Jilamara Arts and Crafts, Milikapiti, Melville Island, Northern Territory
Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in 2000


Kitty Kantilla: New Works on Paper and Canvas, Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, Sydney, 6 – 23 December 2000, cat. 14
Meridian: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 28 November – 23 February 2003
Kitty Kantilla Retrospective, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 27 April – 19 August 2007; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 7 December 2007 – 21 January 2008, cat. 64 (label attached verso)


Smee, S., ‘The Poet of Small Things’, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 22 December 2000, p. 22 (illus.)
Ryan, J., Kitty Kantilla, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2007, cat. 64, pp. 56 (illus.), 103

Catalogue text

This painting was acquired from Kitty Kantilla’s 5th solo exhibition held in December 2000 at Aboriginal and Pacific Art in Sydney.

Painted on a black ground, this painting encompasses all the elements of the artist’s lexicon; pwanga (dots), marlipinyini (lines) and turtiyangimari (colours: white, red, yellow and black).
Although seemingly abstract in appearance, Kantilla’s mark making is far from arbitrary, her designs evoke cultural history and ritual, particularly the Pukumani ceremony, where the Tiwi gather to farewell the dead. Here performers in full body decoration participate in a cycle of song and dance.