Cathy Snow was born into the Gkuathaarn clan in Normanton, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. She spent her childhood on Magowra Station, on her mother’s country. Her bush name, Maljah, means lightning and comes from her grandmother’s dreaming. Later in life she leaned that her grandfather’s name meant floodwaters. This knowledge inspired her to create artworks about water and water themes, including salt and freshwater mussels, water birds and plants, and the complex patterning of tidal water marks.
For Cathy, the ability to share her stories and culture through her art, particularly with her children and grandchildren, is profoundly important and rewarding. "My art allows me to express my culture, my love of and connection with the land. The use of my trademark colours, red and black, express my appreciation for the land, the sea, and my youth."
Cathy is passionate about sharing culture and stories with wider audiences and says that every day she is excited by the challenges of creating a new artwork which can inspire other Indigenous artists to follow their dreams and keep their culture strong.
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.