The stampsThe stamps, designed by Lynette Traynor of the Australia Post Design Studio, feature two works by each artist. All works are part of the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.
$1 Bede Tungutalum, Pukumani poles, 1988, NGAPukumani poles is a linocut, printed from multiple blocks. The work, along with the untitled work on the $2 stamp, below, represents tutini or pukumani poles, an important element of the Tiwi burial rite, which comprises a series of elaborate rituals than take over a year to perform. The poles are carved from a local species of Ironbark and decorated with marks that represent ceremonial body paint or the scars acquired during initiation ceremonies. The pukumani ceremony concludes with the poles being erected around the gravesite.
$1 Banduk Marika, Waterlili and gaya, 1983, NGAWaterlili and Gaya 1983 is a linocut printed in yellow ink from a single block.
$2 Bede Tungutalum, Untitled, c.1984, NGAThis untitled ca. 1984 work is painted in polymer and natural earth pigments on cotton. It represents tutini or pukumani poles, as described above.
$2 Banduk Marika, Guyamala, 2000, NGAGuyamala 2000, is a combination of linocut and screenprint. Like many of Marika’s subjects, Guyamalarelates her inherited traditional Dreamtime stories. It depicts the naming of the fishes and is part of a series of prints exploring the theme of Guyurr (the journey) of the Ancestor creators, Djan’kawu, to the shores of northeast Arnhem Land.