Rosella Namok & Lockhart River Painters
Rosella Namok is presenting her third exhibition at Japingka Gallery, joined by fellow Lockhart River artists Samantha Hobson & Fiona Omeenyo. Since the late 1990s when this vibrant group of young artists began working out of Cape York in northern Queensland, they have created Indigenous artworks that reflect the tropical heat and coastal reef shorelines of their homelands.
The colours and textures of their paintings provide a special insight into the environment and the culture of this part of Australia. The artists create their works with fluid paint layers that are worked back into by scraping and marking. The techniques are akin to sand painting and body marking, with the artists using fingers to incise the designs into wet paint.
Rosella Namok says “I paint mainly about clan groups, country, family and what people do; other subjects include the seasons – the dry and the wet – rainforests, and stories people tell me about the spirits and journeys to other communities.”
Samantha Hobson also paints her land, often focusing on the sea and the reef of spawning coral. She depicts the physical environment of sandbeach country around the coast near the Great Barrier Reef while using a sweeping abstract expressionist feel to her painting style.
Fiona Omeenyo makes many paintings on the ancestral creation stories of her homelands, heritage stories or ‘true stories … before time.’ Her paintings use strong figurative elements to represent mythic ancestral figures and sometimes local people as they carry on everyday activities. These actions are carved into a background layer of paint by the artist as though they were ancient symbols.
The exhibition from Lockhart River Painters will be on display at Japingka gallery from 11 November until 24 December 2016.