A SOCIAL media post about an indigenous artist who grew up on Mornington Island has been shared more than 180 times within a day by Indigenous education non-profit organisation AIME.
The post written in first person by Griffith University student Claudia Moodoonuthi expresses her love in using traditional art techniques on skateboards.
Ms Moodoonuthi’s work is on show at the National Gallery in Melbourne which is called ‘360 degree spin on Country’ as well as an exhibition in Cairns.
She grew up on Mornington Island as well as on Bentinck and Aurukun islands. Her mother is Kiaidilt and her father is Lardil.
Ms Moodoonuthi said she became interested in painting after she studied a Certificate III in Photography during Year 11.
She was encouraged by a “very special” art teacher to have fun painting.
“I painted my face first and then moved to canvas,” Ms Moodoonuthi said.
“I paint blank skateboards because they are relatively cheap to buy and fun to paint.
“Bright colours and stories from my elders look fabulous on them.
“I think it’s cool that the old and modern fit so beautifully together.”
She said her art was inspired by her Kiaidilt elders, who she adored.
“Their painting achievements are so inspiring.
“When I paint I go to another place, where peace and clarity are encompassing.
“Painting relaxes me and gives me a buzz – but it’s never easy.”
She said art gave her the chance to share how her mob saw the world, and her pictures were personal to her.
“As soon as they are completed they need to move away and share themselves with others,” Ms Moodoonuthi said.
“Hopefully my paintings have helped others appreciate indigenous culture in its many varied forms.”
The post was also shared by the Mornington Shire Council Facebook page, which described her as “a creative genius”.
Mornington Shire Council chief executive Frank Mills said the council applauded Ms Moodoonuthi’s unique and progressive works.
“Mornington Shire is certainly a leading art and fashion region in Australia, mixing traditional styles with a modern twist is inventive and refreshing,” he said.
Praise came from numerous comments, including from Facebook user Linda Pavluk-Walding.
“I’ve always wondered how artists can sell their art after putting their souls into the making of it,” Ms Pavluk-Walding said.
“You have enlightened me. Thank you.”