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Pedro Wonaeamirri

Pedro.jpg

Pedro Wonaeamirri | Aboriginal, Tiwi people | Australia 1974 | Pwoja (Pukumani body paint design) 2005 | Natural pigments on canvas | Purchased 2005. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © Pedro Wonaeamirri, 2005. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 2009

Pedro Wonaeamirri, Pwoja (Pukumani body paint design), 2005

Pedro Wonaeamirri
Tiwi people
Australia b.1974
Pwoja (Pukumani body paint design) 2005
Natural pigments on canvas
196 x 118cm
Purchased 2005. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Pedro Wonaeamirri

Pwoja (Pukumani body paint design) 2005 

Pedro Wonaeamirri is the leading painter among a younger generation of Tiwi Islander artists who continue to paint their traditional jilamara, which roughly translates as ‘good design’.

Pwoja (Pukumani body painting design) is a large work typical of Wonaeamirri’s increasingly well-known style of painting traditional jilamara. He has used the pwoja (traditional Tiwi painting comb) to paint fine lines of dots within a highly structured composition, dividing the work into three sections over black, yellow, and combined red and black backgrounds. This division of the work gives the impression of three separate paintings within the one and, in fact, this important work may be considered as a summary or a compendium of related designs.

The horizontal flow of lines and dots is disrupted by extensive areas where a flow of vertical lines dominates. In other parts of the painting, small vertical columns frame or announce different sections, or two completely different sections meet without any separating device. Rather than drawing the eye to a single event, the viewer must scan the painting to find points of reference, rhythm and interruption, within the painting’s overall design.