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Tiwi Design Arts Centre


+61 8 8978 3982

Nestled on the banks of the Apsley Strait on Bathurst Island lies the vibrant arts centre, Tiwi Design Aboriginal Corporation. Originating in 1969 in the Tiwi township of Nguiu, Tiwi Design has developed into one of the oldest and most diverse Indigenous arts enterprises in Australia.

Tiwi Design started from a small room underneath the Catholic Presbytery on Bathurst Island in 1968. Two young men, Bede Tungatalum and Giovanni Tipungwuti worked with the art teacher from the school, Madeline Clear, to produce wood block prints. This art form was introduced because of the natural link with traditional wood carving techniques.

Today the Tiwi Design art complex is situated up from Tingata (the beach) and comprises of a carver’s shelter, pottery studio, screen printing studio, a painting studio plus an administrative centre and retail gallery. Approximately 100 artists unify under the banner ‘to preserve, promote and enrich Tiwi culture’.

Through exploring a variety of traditional and contemporary art practices, the artists have earned a solid reputation for both flair and innovation in the visual arts. The art is comprised of fine art ceramic sculptures and functional wares, paintings in ochre, ironwood carvings, screen-printed fabrics, bark and fibre art, bronze sculptures and prints.

In recent years Tiwi Design have received international recognition for works produced through experimentation with non-conventional mediums by highly skilled artists. An on-going ability to translate traditional stories through contemporary arts practice has earned Tiwi Design a prominent place within the Aboriginal art and craft industry in Australia.

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Map showing Tiwi Design Arts Centre

Puantulura St, Bathurst Island, Tiwi, Darwin

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