Pius Tipungwuti Australian, Tiwi, b. 1954
Pius Tipungwuti has a long history of carving and painting pukumani poles for ceremony. He was an early influence in the development of Jilamara Arts and Crafts, and was once the President of the art centre. His tutini (pole) is featured in the community’s Muluwurri Museum. However, he moved to lead the men’s centre within the community, combining his creative skills with directional and motivational work for young men. Pius has also held the chair of the Milikapiti Council. In 2003 & again in late 2005 he rejoined the art centre to concentrate on his carving full time. Although his skills as a carver are highly regarded amongst his own people, his work is little known in the broader market bar a few art collectors. His work is now being included in major group exhibitions in order for him to receive the recognition he deserves.
Pius’ mother is senior Jilamara artist Mary Magdalene Tipungwuti, and his younger brother John Martin Tipungwuti is also a respected carver. John Martin and Pius are the nephews of the highly acclaimed Tiwi carver Declan Apuatimi, their father Dermot Tipungwuti’s half-brother.