top of page

Feature Artist - Alison Puruntatameri

ALISON PURUNTATAMERI Winga (Tidal Movement/Wave), 2023 80 x 150 cm Natural ochres on Belgian Linen $5,500

These works depict the tidal movement of waters in and around the seas and creeks of the Tiwi Islands. Not just influencing fishing and hunting opportunities, the movement of water carries masses of silt and sand, transforming the land and changing the coastal landscape. Winga can also be translated as 'waves', just one part of the changing tides. Tidal surges are at their most powerful when a king tide occurs during the Wet Season, especially during a full moon. Alison has a strong bond to the waters surrounding the Tiwi Islands, forged by a lifetime of memories living encircled within the tides of the Arafura Sea.

ALISON PURUNTATAMERI Winga, 2023 123 x 36 cm Natural ochres on Bark $5,000

ALISON PURUNTATAMERI Winga, 2023 83 x 24.5 cm Natural ochres on Bark $2,500

ALISON PURUNTATAMERI Winga, 2023 139 x 44 cm Natural ochres on Bark $7,500

ALISON PURUNTATAMERI Winga, 2023 101 x 24 cm Natural ochres on Bark $3,000


Alison was born in Pirlangimpi on Melville Island. She grew up in Pirlangimpi and went to the local school. After she completed school she worked in child care.She has one daughter, Anette Orsto known locally as Sugar Plum who is a great favourite at the art centre studio where Alison paints with her mother Paulina (Jedda) Puruntatameri, her partner James Orsto and the other artists. It was Alison’s grandfather, Justin Puruntatameri (deceased) a senior law man who told Alison she should have a go at painting. He knew all the old songs and remembered visits by the Maccassans 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. He would also take them out bush bashing in his 2 door toyota ute called Black Nose. He used to teach them how to cook wallabies, mussels lots of foods all together under the ground wrapped in paperbark.

Alison started painting at Munupi Arts Centre in late 2011. Alison has been a finalist in several prestigious art awards, including the Museum of Contemporary Arts 2014 Primavera Art Award; Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Telstra NATSIAA)2022; The Alice Prize 2022; and the Art Gallery of South Australia's 2023 Ramsay Art Awards. Alison is represented by Red Dot Fine Art Gallery.

NGARUKURUWALA KAPI MURRUKUPUNI - WE SING TO THE LAND 16 November - 9 December 2023 Munupi Arts & Crafts Association is located along Melville Islands North-Western coastline at Pirlangimpi (also known as Garden Point). It is the most recently formed art centre on the Tiwi Islands. The Munupi artists, inspired by their natural lush environment and the Tiwi creation stories, are renowned for their striking approaches to colour and design. Frequently referred to as “Jilamara” (design), their artworks are created using traditional earth ochres, mixed to create a wide range of colours. “Our paintings are like our songs to country, just like when we go to country we call out and sing to our ancestor”. Carol Puruntatameri ( in discussion with Guy Allain) “Ngarukuruwala Kapi Murrukupuni, means ‘we sing to the land’. We do this to invite our ancestral elders to watch over us, and to thank them for the bush food and other traditional plants and materials that we gather and hunt for, including the ochre and bark. When we go to country, we enact Ngarikuruwala Kapi Murrukupuni so that our ancestors know that we are coming, inviting them to guide and protect us. As we leave country, we sing out to the ancestors to thank them and to let them know of our gratitude and knowledge of their presence and wisdom. Our practice of Ngarikuruwala Kapi Murrakupuni is not only transported in the materials gathered to create our bark paintings—it is also intertwined into our images and designs. This is reflected in the stories and meanings that we convey in and through our creative expressions.’’ Paulina Puruntatameri and Carol Puruntatameri ( in discussion with Dashielle Allain)


bottom of page