About me

Name: Russellina Puruntatameri

Tiwi name: Jipwakajimayu

Clan: Munupi

Skin Group: Lorrula (Solid Rock) yurruma Takaringa (Mullet)

Born: 1989

Awana Mamanta (hello everyone), and welcome.

My name is Russellina Puruntatameri. I’m a proud Tiwi woman from the Munupi clan group on Melville Island NT which is 80km north of Darwin. My tribe is Lorrula (Solid Rock) yurruma Takaringa (Mullet). I am an independent Tiwi artist currently based in Melbourne/Narrm, Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung country. 

I moved to Melbourne in 2018 and I am now based here with my partner, Samuel and daughters Suzanne (9), Riley (7) and Savanna (3).

I began painting again in 2019, as I believe that it was important for me to continue my family’s traditions and pass down stories, culture and language to my daughters, so that they can be proud of their culture and know where they come from. 

I spent most of my childhood and adult life living on country in Pirlangimpi and Milikapiti Community where my parents and family are from. I have had the privilege of growing up surrounded by my culture, language, art and traditions, and I feel very lucky that my parents & grandparents have instilled that importance of culture in me, and I am able to give that to my daughters. 

I learnt how to paint as a child with my family at Munupi Art Centre. My favourite memories were spending time at the art centre sitting with mum, aminayi (grandfather) and all of my family, painting and learning culture and stories of the dreamtime. I also enjoyed going out hunting, fishing, camping, eating bush tucker & seafood and swimming in the fresh waterholes with my family, and my daughters love it whenever we get the chance to visit home. My paintings depict my own stories growing up on Tiwi and also what has been passed down to me from my family.

My father Russell Black (skin group: takaringini) used to paint traditional Tiwi art at Jilamara Arts, he is a qualified painter and has worked in many remote communities in NT painting for over 30 years. My mother Lydwina (Nina) Puruntatameri Tepomitari (skin group: lorrula) is an award-winning Munupi artist and began painting as a child with her father, my aminayi Romuald Puruntatameri (dec. 1996), who was a carver. I am the eldest of two sisters and two brothers. My brother Leon is a full-time artist at Munupi Arts, my younger brother Jaydon started carving and painting back home, and my sister Cassie is a professional model based in Melbourne.

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I have delivered multiple art workshops with kids in schools and footy programs. My most recent one in 2023 with the Essendon Bombers Next Generation Academy (NGA) with the young girls a part of the program. 

I’ve also collaborated with Artist Lane, Temple & Webster, Kinya Lerrk and have designed a number of guernseys for AFL and regional footy clubs across Victoria, including Carlton Football Club (AFL and AFLW) 2023 and Point Cook Bulldogs (WRFL) 2023.

Stay tuned for more. Thank you for your support.

Mana,  Russellina