Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia 1899 – Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia 1970
not titled [Seated New Guinea native figure with bottle].
Collection Title: Sketchbook of figures, faces and scenes in New Guinea and Australia (Sketchbook 20)
Page: Leaf 5 recto.
Place made: Papua New Guinea
Materials & Technique: drawings, sketchbooks, graphite; paper drawing in black pencil Support: paper
Jean Baptist Apuatimi was born on Bathurst Island, one of the Tiwi islands, c. 1940. Her mother and father’s country is Marlawu and her moiety is Japajapunga (March fly). Her Dreaming (dance) is Jarrangini (buffalo). Apuatimi works primarily in ochres (natural earth pigments) on canvas, paper and bark. She also carves wood sculpture.
The Apuatimi family is renowned Tiwi painters, printmakers, ceremonial singers, dancers and sculptors. Declan Arakike Apuatimi, who lived at Nguiu, Bathurst Island, was one of the most acclaimed exponents of Tiwi visual arts and a revered singer and dancer. The development of his distinctive, smaller and more realistic carvings for a non-Aboriginal audience occurred in the 1950s.
At this time he was one of only a few Tiwi producing for an outside market. A highly regarded carver, apart from figurative sculpture, his work included fine ceremonial ornaments, spears and clubs. Declan’s widow, Jean Baptist works on bark, and has become a significant artist of her generation.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra