Bana Yirriji Art Centre is incredibly proud of artist Sonya Creek for being awarded one of three Cairns Art Gallery 2022 Artist Fellowship Awards along with Monique Burkhead and Tommy Pau.
Selected by Ellie Buttrose, Curator of Contemporary Australian Art, QAGOMA, each winner will receive a grant of $7,500 to develop a new body of work for a future exhibition. This generous prize wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of the Cairns RSL Club.
We are looking forward to seeing a new body of artwork created by Sonya in the near future.
Sonya Creek (Kuku Nyungkul)
Mangkurru Mili 2022
Earth & dry pigment on driftwood
‘I am a saltwater and freshwater woman. I collected rainforest driftwood from Weary Bay beach to create a mangkurru (mangrove). Mangroves are critical to the health of our environment. They protect us from cyclones and are nurseries for many fish species. The driftwood has been painted with white clay to represent bleached coral and bones. The iconography on my mangrove depicts mili (singing tree – Dendrocnide moroides), yunga (green ants) and kiju (mud crabs). My grandmother is from Wujal Wujal, where the Singing Tree is known as Mili. The Mili is my totem. My mum Lila Creek taught us how to hunt and collect food. I asked her to paint kiju (mud crabs) on my mangrove tree’s roots to represent the importance of traditional knowledge and practices. I am very proud of my culture and working hard to pass it on to my kids and grandkids. Us Bama are very worried about climate change and see the impact here in Wujal Wujal and surrounding areas… We want to protect our Country and culture for future generations.’ Sonya Creek, 2022
For more information: ARTNOW FNQ 2022