heide smith's tiwi collection

ngiya mamanta tiwi - my friends the tiwi

"I had a permit to visit the Tiwi islands, so I then flew to Nguiu on Bathurst Island. I only stayed a week, but that was enough for me to make up my mind. I had seen many strange and fascinating sights during my travels through the “top end”, but it was the Tiwi Islanders who captured my heart. I wanted to know them better, and I wanted to produce a photographic portrait of the people."

Four Little Tiwi - Bathurst Island 1988 - original vintage silver gelatin print. For more information on this unique print, see Josef Lebovic Gallery Catalogue

reviews of heide's tiwi books

"This book is a hymn of praise to a people who have survived the ordeal which began with the coming of the white man . It is a delight to the eye; it is a source of wisdom to those with the eyes to see it.“
Professor Manning Clark;

“The Land Council is particularly impressed with your sensitive respect for Tiwi Culture and traditions, and the manner in which you have portrayed it”
Tiwi Land Council

“ One women, working alone, has now produced a memorable book of photographs. This book is much more than just another coffee table book, it is an eloquent and moving study of a rich, ancient culture proudly surviving in the modern world.”

Judith White ITA Magazine 

“these are the pictures of a master, and if Heide Smith continues in this style, her place in photographic posterity is assured.”
Northern Territory News


"it's the portraits that stay with you. Even when her subjects are naked, they are clothed in dignity. Even when they pose ....they are simply themselves.
Elizabeth Keenan Time Magazine

“To call her colour and black and white large format book a coffee table work would, somehow, be insulting. The photos convey the natural dignity and honest reality of the life and character of this Aboriginal community.”
Sunday Times Perth



Viewers should be aware this site contains references to, and images of deceased people