Fitzroy Crossing Artists
Posted on October 25, 2021
Juniper celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We would like to showcase some wonderful artists who are residents at Juniper Guwardi Ngadu, a residential aged care home in Fitzroy Crossing, and share the inspiration behind their beautiful pieces of art.
Meet Sonia and Annette, two talented artists who regularly attend the Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency. Drawing on fond memories, landscapes and fauna as inspiration and stories for their work, visiting the local art centre up to three times a week is a highlight for the ladies.
Sonia began her journey as an artist in the 1990s, with painting on paper her chosen medium. Inspired by Noonkanbah country and its flora and fauna, her work depicts the stunning landscapes. She now works predominately on canvas and is known for being a sculptor in paint, focusing on the sandy billabong country along the stretch of the Fitzroy River that runs directly behind the Noonkanbah community.
Sonia’s talent was recognised in the late 2000s, with her first solo show in 2009. The following year, she won the Western Australian Indigenous Artist Award at the Western Australian Indigenous Arts Awards held at the Art Gallery of WA. She went on to win the Best Artist in the Headland Awards in 2013. Sonia’s work can be found in the State Gallery as well as corporate and private collections across the country. Her art has also been included in a fashion line.
Annette tells stories of her fond memories growing up by the Fitzroy River through the unique use of dynamic colour and imagery. Her repertoire of whimsical fish-like creatures describes the creation stories she learnt as a child and the food they caught and still do.
Annette recalls a story told by her parents about two dogs and continues to paint them as a theme in her artwork. Her art has featured in a number of recent exhibitions, including; 2020 ‘Telstra Natsiaa Painting Finalist’ MAGNTt, Darwin; 2020 ‘Big Ones Small Ones’ Junction Co, Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland; 2019 ‘Meeting Places: Mangkaja And Creative Growth’ Creative Growth Oakland; 2019 ‘Revealed’ Fremantle Art Centre, Perth; and 2019 ‘Kimberley Art Prize’ Derby.
When they’re not visiting the art centre during the week, Sonia and Annette love to paint at home, at Juniper Guwardi Ngadu. Art therapy is a popular activity at many Juniper homes as it is well known for its mental health benefits and allowing one to creatively express their innermost thoughts and feelings.
All images courtesy of Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency.