An image of Untitled

Timothy Cook

(Australia 08 Sep 1958 – )

Milikapiti, North region, Melville Island, North region
Language group
Tiwi, North region


Not on display
Further information

Timothy Cook is a younger generation artist from Melville Island, Northern Territory, who paints for the Jilamara Arts and Crafts Centre.

Inspired by Tiwi ceremonial body painting, in 'Untitled' 2002 Cook has painted alternating horizontal lines of red, white and yellow ochre across the canvas, giving the work its cadence and rhythm. Employing natural ochres against a white ground, in the style championed by the recently deceased Kitty Kantilla, Cook has established his place as one of the leading artists of his generation. Cook, like Kantilla, draws on the distinctive traditions of his ancestors to create contemporary paintings that symbolise the dynamism of Tiwi cultural life.

Cook refers to the body paint designs used in the Pukumani ceremony, the traditional Tiwi funeral ceremony, one of the cornerstones of Tiwi belief. His art is also closely linked to stories of Purrukuparli, the Tiwi ancestor whose cultural legacy is revealed in the geometric patterns, common in all Tiwi art, which often depict sites of stories of ancestral significance. Each Tiwi artist has their own individual interpretation of the designs.

Cook has been exhibiting in group exhibitions by Tiwi artists around Australia since 1997 and has had solo exhibitions in Sydney at the Aboriginal and Pacific Arts Gallery in 2002 and 2003.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003

Place of origin
Melville Island, Northern Territory, Australia
natural pigments on linen canvas
87.0 x 63.0 cm stretcher
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2003
Accession number
© Timothy Cook. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney