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Michelle Woody Minnapinni

Milikapiti, NT

"Many makatinga (freshwater creeks) flow through my murrakupuni (Country). Kilikiyija (small creek), kirilikiyija (saltwater creek) and kirluwagamini (wide saltwater creek) as well. Being on murrakupuni is important to me. We hunt and gather yingiti (bush food) from many different makatinga and dry land areas. This is our Tiwi way of living."

About the Artist

Michelle Woody Minnapinni

Michelle Woody Minnapinni is a strong Tiwi-culture woman and artist whose distinct painting style is becoming increasingly recognised on a national level.

Michelle moved from Pirlangimpi to Milikapiti in the 1980s. In 2012, she started painting at Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association with her partner, Nicholas Mario (1972�2019), whilst raising their three young girls.

Since joining Jilamara, Michelle has taken on key governance roles and currently holds the positions of President and Gallery Assistant, as well as holding key responsibilities as a director on the ANKA Board. She oversees the Muluwurri Museum collection held at the art centre and has since completed a Specialist Certificate in Art Conservation from the Grimwade Centre, University of Melbourne. She was selected for the ANKA Artsworker Extension Program in 2018 and in 2019 was also invited to take part in the Wesfarmers Indigenous Arts Leadership Program at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Michelle often uses the distinct Tiwi pwoja (ironwood comb) to paint depictions of murrakupuni (Country), winga (saltwater) and jilamara (Tiwi body paint design).

Her work has been shown in a range of exhibitions and prizes and, in 2020, Michelle was awarded the King Wood Malleson Contemporary Indigenous Art Award.

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