Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that the following pages may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

MARIA JOSETTE ORSTO
Senior artist for Tiwi Design art centre, Maria Josette Orsto is the daughter of established Tiwi artists, Declan and Jean Baptiste Apuatimi. Maria Josette Orsto was born in 1962 at Pularumpi on Melville Island, Josette now works and lives on Bathurst Island.Josette is the custodian of her parents’ artistic lineage and continues in this role to mentor emerging artists working at Tiwi Design. Maria Josette started working with her parents at a young age and has managed to forge her own significant artistic identity as a result of this sustained and nurturing environment. A mother of three sons herself and husband to renowned Tiwi Carver Greg Orsto,Josette works daily in the refinement of her arts practice.Josette began seriously exhibiting her work during the nineties when working at Munupi Art Centre on Melville Island. Although Josette works with traditional iconography she renders her designs in a contemporary modality merging traditions both ancient and modern in representing Tiwi Culture. Maria Josette was taught at a young age the art of carving by her father,senior lawman Declan Apuatimi.Since this time her work has evolved from a chiselled and immediate painting style to the refinement of fine patterns that weave designs speaking of Tiwi mythologies born from the adept nature of her distinguished mark making.
The artist has a distinguished exhibition history and is represented in many fine collections. Today Josette works from Tiwi Design art centre located on Bathurst Island. Established in 1969 the art centre has a strong carving history that has translated effectively to the graphic arts in the form of silk screen printing, etching, lithography and lino printing techniques. Josette is a prolific printmaker who has worked in many leading workshops including; Editions Tremblay in Cairns, Australian Print workshop in Melbourne and Tamarind Institute of lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The artists themes include Kurlama (Tiwi naming ceremony based on the preparation of a yam), Miyinga (images relating to the bygone process of scarification rituals),Wiyiini (leaves), Winga (Sea) and numerous other designs. Tiwi people have dances associated with their specific moiety. Josette dances ‘trick’ dance.
Josette is a leading example to other emerging Tiwi artists through her long apprenticeship to both her mother and father. Josette has forged a definitive style of her own that is faithful to Tiwi iconography and culture and is suitably positioned in representing essential Tiwi stories that communicate across cultural barriers.