Timothy Cook Australia, Tiwi, b. 1958


Timothy Cook expresses himself through his loose, gestural, spacious designs. Tomothy paints exclusively with natural ochres, composing his paintings with pure instinct and without hesitation. His artworks are highly sort after by major collections both naturally and internationally. Timothy won the NAtional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award in 2012. Timothy has been creating paintings, prints and carvings at Jilamara since 1999, his art is very personal to him; he likes the 'old designs' he learnt from his elders. He paints dots (pwanga) as elements of his designs: dots are his 'favourite special' due to the fact that ochre dots are applied to his face for ceremonies. The dots are applied by his bunji - a kinship relationship term which means mate, or in-law. In the last few years Timothy has focused on the Kulama design. The Kilama ceremony is a traditional initiation for young men coinciding with the harvest of wild yam. The ceremony is performed in the late wet season (March/April) when a ring appears around Japarra (the moon). Elders of both sexes sing and dance for three days, welcoming the boys into adulthood. The boy is then renamed with his true man's name. The circles in his work symbolise the moon, yam and ritual circles of the Kulama ceremony, the "cross" reflects his spiritual life, the pwanga (dots) reflect the japalinga (stars). In his most recent paintings, Timothy combines natural ochres red, white and yellow with crushed charcoal as a base coat. Charcoal was traditionally used by his ancestors to paint. Timothy is revisiting this traditional material in his palette.