Pwoja Jilamara is about ceremonies. During ceremony on the Tiwi Islands, yoi (dances) are performed. Participants in these ceremonies are painted with turtiyanginari (the different traditional natural ochres) in varying designs. These designs are applied in different ways, one of which is using the pwoja, the traditional Tiwi 'comb' carved with a single row of teeth. The comb is dipped in ochres and applied to the body. These artistic designs collectively are called jilamara.
About the Artist
Alison Puruntatameri was born in Pirlangimpi on Melville Island. She went to the local school and later worked in childcare. Her daughter, known locally as Sugar Plum, is a great favourite at the art centre where Alison paints with her mother, Paulina (Jedda) Puruntatameri; her partner, James Orsto; and the other artists. It was Alison�s grandfather, Justin Puruntatameri (c. 1930 � 2012), a senior Law man, who told Alison she should try painting. He knew all the old songs and remembered visits by the Makassans to the Tiwi Islands when he was a boy. Alison would listen to his stories of his paintings at the art centre and on Country. He used to take the family hunting when she was little and also took them out bush bashing in his two-door Toyota ute called Black Nose. He used to teach them how to cook wallabies, mussels and other food under the ground wrapped in paperbark.
Alison started painting at the Munupi Art and Craft Centre in late 2011 and was included in Primavera 2014, the Museum of Contemporary Art�s prestigious annual exhibition of outstanding young artists.