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Irene Henry and Harold Goodman

Kapalga, NT

"My cousin's brother used to make birds; Roy's dad used to make the Jabiru bird. Then Harold got the idea of doing cockatoo. The Black Cockatoo plays an important role in Tiwi ceremony – Harold has to look at the tree first to see if it's strong enough [for carving] – you can tell when that stringy bark peels off. Then you can see if it's right to cut it and do carving."

About the Artist

Irene Henry and Harold Goodman

Irene Henry and Harold Goodman are partners and live at the Kakadu outstation of Kapalga. Irene is a Tiwi woman who grew up in Garramilla/Darwin, and Harold grew up in Humpty Doo. They have been living in Kakadu since 1984.

Irene and Harold work together as a collaborative artistic duo. Irene is part of a highly regarded artistic family and the couple learned to paint and carve through her relatives.

�I learnt how to paint from Rhonda [Henry] and my sister, Aileen. I used to see her and watch her paint when I was a young teenager, then I started doing it. For the carving, I learnt from Sebastian Tipiloura, but he passed away now. I watched him and learned.

Me and Harold met here [Kakadu] in 1984 and we�ve been a couple ever since. We have six children. Harold and I were carving little birds, like old Sebastian used to do. Then I said to Harold, �We should do something different�, and he said, �Why don�t we do cockatoos?�, so we both make the cockatoos.�

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