Tiwi Designs started from a small room underneath the Catholic Presbytery on Bathurst Island in 1968. Two young men, Bede Tungatalum and Giovanni Tipungwuti worked with the art teacher from the school, Madeline Clear, to produce wood block prints. This art form was introduced because of the natural link with traditional wood carving techniques.
By 1969 the artists started to transfer their designs onto silk screens. Printing textiles quickly became a major activity for the Tiwi Design artists. In 1970, a set of six linen place mats were awarded the Industrial Design Council of Australia's Good Design Award.
Today the organisation is still operating with this aim in mind. There are approximately 100 artists working with Tiwi Designs to create painting, wood sculptures, textiles, ceramics, pandanas weaving and printmaking.
Image:'Stone Axe' design Danny Munkara on fabric