Artist: Maria Josette Orsto

Size: 90 x 90cm


About the artist

Born in 1962. Maria Josette Orsto’s (nee Apuatimi) father’s country is Imalu, Melville Island and her mother’s Wangurruwu (Marluwu), Bathurst Island. Her skin group is Japijapunga (March Fly) and her dance is Trick Dance.


Orsto was the first female Tiwi artist to become an official member of Tiwi Design, one of the oldest Aboriginal art centres in Australia. She is the daughter of renowned Tiwi artists Declan Apuatimi and Jean Baptiste Apuatimi. She works across a range of media including ochre and acrylic on canvas and paper, printmaking, batik and wood sculpture.


Orsto has exhibited widely since holding her first solo exhibition at AGOG Gallery, Canberra in 1990. She has been included in a number of significant group exhibitions including Maternal Lines: Jean Baptiste Apuatimi and Maria Josette Orsto, Charles Darwin University, Darwin (2012); UnDisclosed: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2012); Nyini Parlingari Purrupakuluwunyi, Amintiya Kiyi Nyingani Awarra Jilamara: Looking Back, Looking Forward in Our Art, Charles Darwin University, Darwin (2010); Mamirnikuwi Yirrinkiripwoja Miyinga, Alison Kelly Gallery, Melbourne (2007); Kiripuranji: Clever with our Hands – Contemporary Art from the Tiwi Islands, Artbank International Touring Exhibition (2002–05); Tiwi Prints – A Commemorative Exhibition 1969–1997, MCA, Sydney (1997); Tiwi Art: Tradition and Change, Tandanya, Adelaide (1994); Mamunukuwi Jilamara: Tiwi Women’s Art, Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (1993); Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (1991); and Aboriginal Women’s Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1990).


Orsto’s work is held in private collections throughout Australia and internationally and in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Australian Embassy, Paris; and Seattle Art Museum, Washington.

Kurlama Jilimara

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    The Cathy Freeman Foundation acknowledges and pays our respects to the past, present and emerging traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users are advised that this website may contain images and voices of people who have died.




    ABN: 59 623 241 565

    Cathy Freeman Foundation is endorsed under the ATO provision of item 1