Tinnimmi: Art and Spirituality

Tinnimmi: Art and Spirituality

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Everything seems slower and brighter around Tinnimmi (not his real name, but a spiritual one that he keeps changing every two years). Life seems less chaotic, flowers seem brighter, and the smile on the face lasts longer. There's something deeply spiritual about this Adelaidean- not a vacuous spirituality but one that is profound and stems from an educated understanding. It is no surprise then that the art of this Brompton resident is just as unique and captivating. Tinnimmi uses only four colours -red, white, blue and yellow to make his paintings. His art – he likes to call it vibrational - stems from an ancient Mayan art form, and each colour has a deeper meaning.   

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For the 26-year-old, painting came as a sudden revelation. Tinnimmi was inspired by an aboriginal woman artist whose videos he saw on YouTube. “It is so strange, but she died a week after I started seeing her videos. Her name was Judy Napangardi Watson, and soon after something stirred inside of me, it was like she was pushing me to paint. About three years ago on a December early morning, I was sitting in OTR sipping my coffee, when suddenly I had this urge to draw. I started drawing on numerous OTR receipts, and to share the light of creativity, I kept dropping the drawings in letterboxes in the Brompton area. Sometime later, my friend Jen also inspired me to start creating and I did my first painting in her backyard of West Hindmarsh. That’s how my journey into the world of painting began,” he says.

Four colours four meanings:

Tinnimmi uses only four colours red, white, blue, and yellow to paint. “One of the main reason behind using these colours is because my dear friend had a vision of these colours emanating from my mind; like a confluence of three into one. It wasn't until I started using a bamboo stick that this vision came to life through the paintings. Each colour represents something -  red- initiation, white-refinement, blue-transformation, and yellow-ripening. On the calendar, we cycle through red, white, blue and yellow days continuously,” he explains.

He adds, “My type of art is also called Dreamspell, which is related to the calendar that I've followed for many years. It is a calendar of Natural time, following the cycle of the thirteen moons. Dreamspell is an integral part of the Mayan calendar. I found it very interesting and decided to incorporate it into the paintings I make. I also saw a man using bamboo sticks to put paint on the canvas and chose to follow that technique.”


Tinnimmi also calls his art vibrational. “The art moves when you look at it, I don't know the technicalities, all I know is what I see, and that is its movement,” he says.

The artist usually paints on canvas but he has dabbled in Stobie polls as well. “I am doing my first mural in the newly developed Basketball and Tennis courts, opposite Plant 4/Jarmers Kitchen. The mural is on the practice tennis wall,” he says.

“The work I do is very slow, as it is finely detailed, and the lines are thin,” he adds. 

Inspirational friends:

Tinnimmi derives inspiration from his friends, and internally – ideas formed in his subconscious mind that are gently nudged out during meditations.  “My ideas come to me when I am in a meditative state, but I am also inspired by many local artists. My favourite is an amazing artist who lives in Brompton. Like every other experience, my encounter with this artist also happened by chance. I was playing in the Ivan Franko Reserve in Brompton when I saw numerous canvases of beautiful paintings on the other side of the fence. I came to know that they were by The Saxoffender, Sophie Downey. One day, I approached her, and we got acquainted quickly. Her artistry is so pure, and I have learned so much from observing her. I made another friend over the Internet, Shiholi Yaguchi. Her incredible art is called it Light Art. I would encourage everyone to check her artwork,” says Tinnimmi.

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He further adds, “Adelaide has a great space for art. I'm grateful that public art is being viewed as important, for life is art, and should be embraced to the fullest.”

Tinnimmi’s future plans include introducing Adelaide to more of his unique art through murals and other forms of public art. “My paintings work best on huge surfaces; the bigger the surface, the more the painting vibrates and moves,” he explains.

“I haven't had many challenges, things come naturally, effortlessly. It's been a slow burn, a slow unfolding of a practice that keeps deepening and expanding,” says this unique artist.

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Follow Tinnimmi's journey on Instagram

Learn more about Dreamspell on lawoftime.org.

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