Claudia Moodoonuthi was born in 1995 on Bentinck Island off the Queensland Gulf coastline. This exhibition presents recent paintings that incorporate woven elements alongside soft wrapped and hard-edged sculptures. The lines and textures of these works map the artist’s history and her homelands.
As the great granddaughter of the late Kaiadilt senior law man, King Alfred, Claudia Moodoonuthi was raised by her great grandmother, ‘May May’ Moodoonuthi, and her Kaiadilt aunties, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and Netta Loogatha on the neighbouring Mornington Island, land of the Lardil people. Through regular trips to their country on Bentinck Island, the ‘old girls’ shared stories and taught her how to weave, fish and live sustainably in ‘sea country’.
At age seven, Moodoonuthi moved to Aurukun on the western side of Cape York Peninsula, where she connected with family and learnt about Wik Mungkan lore and traditions. A scholarship allowed her to attend school in Brisbane, where she first picked up a paintbrush.
Moodoonuthi has a natural affinity for line, colour and pattern. She paints from her heart and her memory. Through her art Moodoonuthi pays homage to her people and culture. There is an element of liveliness and experimentation as Moodoonuthi subtly integrates small, idiosyncratic elements from her everyday life into her art. Candid photographs of family and friends and lighthearted videos in the exhibition provide a further insight into the artist’s personality and the disparate worlds she traverses.
Image: Claudia Moodoonuthi, Loogootha Country (detail), 2015, cotton and metal wrapped timber spears and acrylic paint on canvas Courtesy of the Artist and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. Photography: Michael Marzik
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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.