Artist Stories

Ancestress / Teila Watson

Ancestress / Teila Watson

20 May 2019

Queensland-born, multidisciplinary artist, Teila Watson, was presented with the Australia Council’s Dreaming Award at the 10th National Indigenous Arts Awards on Saturday, 27 May.

Mr John Mawurndjul

Mr John Mawurndjul

15 May 2019

A Kuninjku bark painter and sculptor, Mr John Mawurndjul is one of the leading Aboriginal Australian artists, receiving worldwide recognition for his work. He was born in 1952 near Mumeka, an important camping site for members of the Kurulk clan on the Mann River some 50 kms south of Maningrida. He grew up at Mumeka and surrounding Tomkinson, Liverpool and Mann Rivers seasonal camps with only sporadic contact with balandas (non-aboriginal people). In the late 1970s he was tutored in painting by his elder brother Jimmy Njiminjuma and Uncle Peter Marralwanga, who showed him how to use rarrk cross-hatching in new and innovative ways.

Thomas E.S Kelly

Thomas E.S Kelly

15 May 2019

Thomas is a proud Bundjalung, Wiradjuri, Ni-Vanuatu man. Thomas graduated in 2012 from NAISDA Dance College and has since worked with the likes of Vicki Van Hout, Shaun Parker and Company, Branch Nebula, ERTH, Chunky Move, Tasdance, Outer Urban Projects and Urban Theatre Projects. His choreographic credits include his Green Room Award winning work [MIS]CONCEIVE, VESSEL for Outer Urban Projects and SHIFTING > SHAPES.

Hetti Perkins

15 May 2019

Hetti Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon curator, writer, advisor and presenter with 30 years of national and international experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts with federal agencies, community arts organisations, state galleries and local government.

Dr Ken Thaiday Senior

Dr Ken Thaiday Senior

15 May 2019

Ken is best known for his extraordinary and elaborate ‘dance masks’ and headdresses. These include representations of the Beizam (hammerhead shark), which is his family totem, as well as works that contemporise the traditional form of the Dari. The Dari is a headdress historically worn by Torres Strait warriors in battle. It is a potent symbol of the Torres Strait Island people, appearing on their flag and enduring today as a sign of peace and harmony. Traditionally made from cane, pearl shell and feathers, Ken works with modern materials to fashion his works, using plastic, cardboard, plywood, fishing line, corflute, bamboo, feathers, beads, nylon line, acrylic paint, string, enamel, fibreglass and wire.

Lynette Narkle

Lynette Narkle

15 May 2019

Critically acclaimed and highly respected actor and director of Indigenous theatre and film Lynette Narkle will be presented with the Australia Council’s prestigious Red Ochre Award for 2017 at the 10th National Indigenous Arts Awards at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday, 27 May. Lynette, a proud Noongar Nation woman, was born in Wagin in Western Australia in 1946, one of nine children. Her remarkable career spans five decades and she is recognised nationally and internationally as one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal actors and performing arts practitioners and a pivotal force in theatre.

Lisa Maza

Lisa Maza

15 May 2019

Actor, singer and writer Lisa Maza was officially presented with an Australia Council Fellowship at the 10th National Indigenous Arts Awards at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday, 27 May 2017. Lisa’s father, the late Robert (Bob) Maza was born in 1939 on Palm Island to a Meriam father from Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait and Yidindji mother from North Queensland near Cairns. Lisa’s mother, Vera Blankman was born in 1943 in Alkmaar in The Netherlands, moved to Australia when she was seven and met Bob Maza when she was 20.

Yvonne Koolmatrie

Yvonne Koolmatrie

15 May 2019

Internationally renowned Ngarrindjeri weaver, Yvonne Koolmatrie, was presented with the Australia Council’s prestigious Red Ochre Award for 2016 at the 9th National Indigenous Arts Awards at the Sydney Opera House on Friday, 27 May. Yvonne Koolmatrie was born in 1944 in Wudinna, a small town in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, and grew up in the state’s Coorong wetlands and Riverland districts. Yvonne’s remarkable career as a master weaver began in 1982 after attending a one-day workshop in Meningie in South Australia presented by elder and weaver Dorothy Kartinyeri - Aunty Dory - thought to be one of the last people practising the ancient coiled bundle weaving technique.

Nooky

Nooky / Corey Webster

15 May 2019

“I got the name because of my Dad, Noel. He had a pet chicken called Chooky when he was young. Here he was, this little blackfella country kid going everywhere with a chicken. Someone nicknamed Dad Nooky – a cross between Noel and Chooky. So whenever I went to the football with Dad everyone called me and my brother ‘Lil’ Nooky’ or ‘Yung Nooky’. When I started my music I just used what people called me - Yung Nooky – I was maybe 19 when I dropped the ‘Yung’. Nooky’s not like a stage name or anything – people mostly call me Nooky but some call me Corey – it’s all good,” Nooky says.

Vicky Couzens

Vicki Couzens

15 May 2019

Possum cloak maker and multi-media artist Vicki Couzens was presented with an Australia Council Fellowship at the 9th National Indigenous Arts Awards at the Sydney Opera House on Friday, 27 May 2016.

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