Timothy COOK: artist

Not On Display

About the work

WAIAA 2011 extended label:
Timothy Cook is a prolific artist who creates dynamic works of art informed through his cultural understanding and identity as a Tiwi man. Cook was born in 1958 on Melville Island and has been painting since the late 1990s. Within all of his work there is one constant element – a repeated thematic motif that refers to the sacred Kulama ceremony, a celebration of life.

The first Kulama took place as the Parlingarri or creation time drew to an end, after the death of Purrukapali and his only son Jinani. Purrukapali’s wife Bima had betrayed him with his brother Japara. She had left their son Jinani in a tree while she visited Japara and when she returned Jinani had died. Purrukapali became enraged, took his son’s body, and disappeared into the sea. As he did this he declared that death would come to all of the Tiwi.

Towards the end of the wet season, when the moon is full and encased in a circle of gold, Japara the moon-man is performing Kulama, letting the Tiwi on the earth know it is time for the ceremony to begin. This gold circle can be seen in each of Cook’s evocative abstractions, which depict ceremony and painting of the body.
Artist/Maker and role
Timothy COOK: artist
ochre on linen
120.0 x 200.0 cm
Credit line
Purchased through The Leah Jane Cohen Bequest, The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2011
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.


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