Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association is an indigenous owned art centre located in Milikapiti, Melville Island, 100km north of Darwin. Artists at the centre have made a significant contribution to contemporary indigenous art in Australia since the association was established in 1989.
The Tiwi word ‘Jilamara’, which roughly translates to ‘design’, refers to the intricate ochre patterning traditionally applied to the bodies of dancers and the surface of carved poles during the Pukamani funeral ceremony. This ceremony is still a part of community life and continues to inform the current art practice of the Tiwi people. Tiwi work displays its own regionally distinct identity, and varies greatly in form and content from the indigenous art of the Arnhem and Central Desert regions of Australia.
Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association participates in an ongoing exhibitions program at public and private galleries, while also undertaking projects across community development, capacity building and cultural maintenance. Artworks from the centre are held in all major public and private collections in Australia, along with key collections overseas.
The centre also houses the Mulluwurri Museum – a collection of carvings, Tiwi artefacts, prints and early photographs from the region by Baldwin Spencer. The museum was first established in 1988 and the collection is held in trust for the Milikapiti community.
Jilamara & the Mulluwurri Museum can be visited by appointment through the Tiwi Art Network.