A Northern Territory artist whose work will be celebrated on a new stamp says he hopes it will inspire other Australians to learn about his culture.
The works of two NT artists — Bede Tungutalum and Banduk Marika — have been chosen to appear on new stamps that will be put into circulation next week.
Bede Tungutalum, 65, lives on Bathurst Island and helped pioneer Tiwi Islands art sales.
“It is exciting for me,” he said after news of the new stamps was released.
He said he thought his success would encourage people to learn more about his culture.
“Yes it does,” he said, adding that he also hoped his success would inspire school children in the Tiwi Islands.
“They do [see my success] at school, they learn these things,” he said.
He praised the choices Australia Post made for the stamps.
“It was their choice, and they chose the right ones, the best ones, which meant a lot to us,” he said.
Both of Tungutalum’s works concern death
Two of his works were selected, including one showing Pukumani poles, which represent carved poles that play an important role in Tiwi burial rites.
The other also concerns death, and tells the dreamtime story of Purrukapali, his wife Bima and son Jinani.
In the story Purrukapali learns his son has died due to the actions of Bima, and takes him to the water to declare that everyone eventually dies.
Banduk Marika comes from north-east Arnhem Land and works in linocut, screen prints and on bar.
Two of her works feature on the new stamps.
One of them, titled Guyamala, is a linocut and screen print and relates to her dreamtime stories, Australia Post said in a statement.
The other is titled Waterlili and Gaya and was produced in 1983.
The new stamps will be available from participating post offices, via mail order or online from October 24.
Australia Post philatelic manager Michael Zsolt said he believed the stamp issue highlighted the “richness and beauty inherent in the artworks” and also the creative spirit of the artists.