Abstract: Ethnography is the principal method for studying the art of the Tiwi Islands, as it is for the study of Aboriginal Australian art more generally. Relying on the testimonies of the artists themselves, scholars use Tiwi art to build knowledge of Tiwi cosmologies and society. This essay turns to the oeuvre of Tiwi artist Jean Baptiste Apuatimi to argue that the methodology of visual analysis can also contribute to knowledge of Tiwi cosmology and society. The persistence of the jilamara design in her oeuvre can be related to the global phenomenon of geometric design. For the art historian Wilhelm Worringer, the emergence of geometric ornament in different societies betrays anxieties about the cosmological place of a people in the world. Tiwi jilamara can be read in terms of such anxiety in a contribution to the scholarship on Tiwi society that relies on the evidence of art practice rather than ethnography.