2020 Sonia Kurarra

26 May - 20 June 2020


Aboriginal & Pacific Art and Mangkaja Arts of Fitzroy Crossing present a new collection of paintings by Sonia Kurarra.

These recent works show an artist reaching new heights in their exploration of paint application and colour.  Sonia fearlessly combines mark making using acrylic pens and graffiti markers alongside paint lushly applied with her brush to create sensational contemporary paintings.

Sonia paints the sandy billabong country along the stretch of the Fitzroy River that runs directly behind the Yungngora (Noonkanbah) community, situated in a remote part of the West Kimberley Region of Western Australia. After the food waters recede, there are billabongs that hold a plentiful supply of parlka [barramundi], kurlumajarti [catish] and bream. She paints gapi [fish], parrmarr [rocks] where the Fish is cooked, ngurti [coolamon] and a karli [boomerang].

During the Covid-19 global pandemic outbreak Sonia sadly lost her older sister. For the last two months Sonia has been confined to the inner walls at Guwardi Aged care where she lives at Fitzroy Crossing to keep her safe. Sonia has been unable to see family or return home to her community so as to follow the normal procedures for sorry business. It has been an even more difficult time for her amongst the upheaval of these unprecedented times.

Continuing on to make the last few paintings for this show, Sonia’s remarkable creative force holds even greater significance. Immersing herself in depictions of her precious river country has brought some solace as she awaits the time she can to family and properly mourn the loss of her sister.


- Natalie McCarthy, 2020