Cynthia Burke And Her View From The Sky

Cynthia - blog post

Cynthia is a landscape painter from Warakurna community. She learnt to paint from her mother, the late well-known painter Jean Burke. Cynthia’s work celebrates her love of the aerial view of the land from a plane. This will be Cynthia’s first solo exhibition at Japingka and features 13 of her favourite pieces. Here she talks about her life and her work.

When did you start painting?
I’ve been painting since I was about ten. Every time I looked at my Mother she was painting. I learnt from her. She wanted me to do the painting. She’d paint about Dreamtime stories and bush tucker.

What do you think about when you are painting?
When I’m painting it’s like I’m in that place. I think about the landscape like I’m looking down from a plane seeing a lake or spinifex.

How do you choose the colours?
I always choose the colours I want for my landscape. Dark blue, white, dark pink, light pink whatever is in the landscape.

What is special to you about your family’s country?
My mothers country’s languages are special to me. My fathers country is also special.

Did you grow up listening to stories?
The older people would tell Dreamtime stories when we were out bush.

What is your painting routine?
After I’ve finished my work each day I come to the Arts Centre. Other times I paint on the week-end and sometimes at night time. It feels good to be painting. I love doing the painting.

Do you talk when you paint?
No, I’m silent. I do painting in my room when people are asleep.

Are you involved in a local language radio show?

I’ve been doing it since about 2012. I used to go out bush - camera work, video. Now I do the show. I choose the music and do interviews. People like to listen to the show on the radio. Maybe from home, maybe from a car. They like the gospel music, country music and aboriginal music.

In this next exhibition do you have any particular favourites?
No, I like all of them.

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