Claudia Moodoonuthi

It's been an exciting end to the year for Claudia Moodoonuthi - coming off the back of a commissioned body of work currently on display at the National Gallery of Victoria supported by MECCA Brands, as well as a solo show Ruby and Hunter in Dulka Warngiid (Story Place) at Alcaston Gallery opening 14 November.

Spending the first seven years of her life on Bentinck and Mornington Islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Claudia was raised by her late great-grandmother May Moodoonuthi. These formative years and upbringing on the islands in the tropics feed strongly into her bright and energetic works today.

Explaining about the influence of her characteristic use of colour, Claudia states, ‘When I go home to Bentinck Island, which I do several times a year if possible, I usually take notice of every colour in the ground and soil, and the skies and the oceans. I like to keep in touch with the land and paint the colours of the land, especially the ocean and the sky’.

As a Kaiadilt woman, Claudia draws from a rich lineage of Kaiadilt women including May Moodoonuthi, Sally Gabori and Netta Loogatha. Like them, Claudia’s work reflects her deep connection to country, with her bold and colourful works in dialogue with the language, history and family of the Kaiadilt people of Bentinck Island.

For her exhibition Ruby and Hunter in Dulka Warngiid (Story Place), Claudia has created a series of paintings and a sculpture installation. Working between acrylic on canvas or marker on wallaby skin, or silhouettes of dogs, Claudia’s process is prolific, strongly driven by intuition and a desire to explore both her cultural roots and contemporary culture.

Her commissioned work at the NGV, Coya – Little One engages with her childhood memories on Bentinck Island. Working with found objects, including skateboards, Claudia instils them with vibrant and playfully rendered traditional motifs. Coya – Little One is part of the annual Holiday collaboration that sees MECCA Brands founder and CEO Jo Horgan support the NGV to acquire works by female Australian contemporary artists for the NGV Collection.

Ruby and Hunter in Dulka Warngiid (Story Place)
14 November – 9 December 2017

Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 

Coya – Little One
From 9 November 2017
NGV Australia: Federation Square

Courtesy the artist, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne; and the National Gallery of Victoria.

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