Barbara Puruntatameri Australian, Tiwi, b. 1970

DANCE: Kirrilima (Jungle Fowl)


Barbara Puruntatameri was born and raised in Pirlangimpi. She has moved back and forward between Pirlangimpi and Milikapiti on Melville Island. She has raised five children whilst taking part in creative activities in the local community development program with Tiwi Islands Training and Employment Board. These activities included screen-printing, relief printing, painting and sewing. Barbara learnt how to paint watching her grandfather paint at Munupi Arts and was inspired to join Jilamara after watching her partner Jimmy Mungatopi make paintings and carvings. Following in her grandfather’s footsteps, Barbara is carrying on the tradition of telling the story of the hermit crab and how it weaves its intricate designs in the sand. With her partner Jimmy Mungatopi being a long term member at Jilamara, and her return to Milikapiti, Barbara was encouraged to join Jilamara to continue her painting practice and keep Tiwi culture strong. She also collaborates with her daughter Emma to make large-scale paintings about the different generations of her family walking on country.