Bima Wear is a fabric printmaking and clothing business based at Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island. Tiwi women produce unique fabric prints and sewn garments in brilliant, bold, and timeless designs. Fabrics feature traditional symbols, structures and family and environmental representations central to Tiwi culture. The women also work in other art practices such as painting, linocut, etching and design.
Eight women have worked with Bima Wear for more than 30 years, with three employed since its establishment in 1969. Dedication and morale is strong among the women and most have worked at Bima Wear since leaving school. Tiwi people shop for their clothing at Bima Wear and proudly wear the beautiful vibrant designs to special occasions, including religious and cultural ceremonies, football matches and for shopping trips to the mainland.
Bima Wear is a branch of Bima Wear Association, a Tiwi not-for-profit women’s organisation. Bima Wear Association’s objectives are to:
- Reduce poverty and promote the welfare and development of women and girls of the Aboriginal community at Bathurst Island,
- Improve the living standards of Tiwi women and girls,
- Provide a safe facility for Tiwi women and girls to access support,
- Provide programs which facilitate capacity building, education, skill development, economic development and community development,
- Foster the preservation and development of traditional and other cultural and recreational activities.