Singlet top - Tiwi Bird
Singlet top - Tiwi Bird
Singlet top - Tiwi Bird
Singlet top - Tiwi Bird

Singlet top - Tiwi Bird

Regular price $120.00
  • Sleeveless top
  • Black on light white cotton
  • Fabric hand screen printed in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands NT
  • Top made in Sydney

Artist and art centre

Bede Tungatalum was born at Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), Bathurst Island in 1952. His country is Munupi, Melville Island, skin group Yarrinapinilia (Red Ochre).

 Bede learned carving from his father, the well-known sculptor Gabriel Tungatalum. While at school he was taught to cut woodblocks for printing, and his earliest prints date from the late 1960s. Bede established Tiwi Designs with Giovanni Tipungwuti in 1969 – to produce hand printed fabric that incorporates traditional Tiwi designs.

 This design is hand screen printed at Tiwi Design, Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), on Bathurst Island (Tiwi Islands), 80km North of Darwin. Tiwi Design aims to promote, preserve and enrich Tiwi culture – it supports over 100 artists to do painting, wood sculptures, textiles, ceramics, pandanus weaving and printmaking. 

Art story

Bede first created this ‘Tiwi Bird’ motif in the 1970s; its first iteration was as a woodblock print, and it soon became incorporated into the Tiwi Design logo. The Tiwi Bird textile design was created in 1990.

Alan Kerinauia, Tiwi screen printer, explains, “The Tiwi Bird is a Jabiru - there’s lots of Jabirus around Tiwi Islands. The dots and lines around the bird are like Jilamara - a piece of art. Each line, triangle and curve means something else - a thick line is a creek or river, a dot is a waterhole or a person, and a triangle with a dot can be a snake.”

Size and fit

Jess (first two photos) wears size 10 in the new style top with no buttons up back; Robyn and Rachana wear size 8 singlet top (old version with buttons down back).

6 8 10 12 14 16
bust 81.8 86.8 91.8 96.8 101.8 106.8
hem 78 83 88 93 98 103


Note: This top no longer has buttons down the back. Sizing is slightly different from the previous tops that did have buttons (now a slimmer fit so go up a size from the button top if you tried that on! - i.e. if you were an 8 with buttons, a 10 probably fits without buttons) 

Treat me right

Design is printed on cotton with quality inks and then heat-set; designs are colourfast. Each metre of fabric is hand-printed and is unique - fabulous variations often occur!

Please treat your wearable art with love and care – we recommend cold hand wash, dry in shade, and reverse iron.

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