APUATIMI, Jean Baptiste
I am a painter. My husband Declan Karrilikiya Apuatimi taught me how to paint. I love my painting, I love doing it. The designs are the ones he taught me. He said, ‘One day you will be an artist. You will take my place. You do this painting when I die, to support the kids that I gave you.’ He gave me this work to do to support my family. Now I am doing that. Painting makes me alive.1
I work with my friends at Tiwi Design. That’s where we paint, men and women, those who I love. We are all artists, me and my friends. We all work the same. We share food. I love them and they love me. We paint jilamara (body painting designs) … I also paint ceremony … tutini (cemetery pole), old tunga (bark basket), pamijini (arm band), japarrunga (double-forked digging stick for kulama yam) and that’s what my husband taught me to paint.
1 From Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, introduction in Tiwi, Nguiu, 3 February 2007, transcribed and translated by Margaret Renee Kerinauia.