Female Wik and Kugu artists paint their stories

by | Jun 28, 2019 | Uncategorized

Wik and Kugu female artists paint and record their life stories in ancestral language during the Painted Stories residency with artist Gina Allain and linguist Louise Ashmore.

Cultural knowledge is being passed down with the assistance of the Painted Stories Artist Residency for female artists at Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu Arts Centre. 

Aurukun Shire Council’s Arts Centre and aged care facility, the Chivaree Centre, partnered with the Pama Language Centre and Cape York Employment for the residency with artist Gina Allain and linguist Louise Ashmore last week.

Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Dereck Walpo said 23 women had created paintings inspired by their history and recorded the stories in their ancestral language.

“We expected just 12 participants so were really excited to see the enthusiasm of Aurukun’s female artists with almost twice that number wanting to be involved in the residency,” he said. 

“This collaboration has helped the community’s female artists enhance their painting techniques to create new work for exhibitions as well as record a part of their life history.

Wik and Kugu Arts Centre Manager Sabine Hoeng said storytelling and painting were important methods of intergenerational knowledge transfer.

“This residency has been a wonderful example of how cultural knowledge is being transmitted by senior artists to the younger generations,” she said.

“The unexpected high number of participants shows there is a need for the Arts Centre to provide the community with more cultural maintenance opportunities.

“Part of the success of the workshop was the collaboration with the Pama Language Centre, Cape York Employment’s Elizabeth Hunter, and the elders who attend the Council’s Chivaree Centre.

“A morning tea will be held for the community to join the workshop participants and hear the recordings of their stories.”

The Wik & Kugu Arts Centre has a gallery, men’s art studio with a work shed, and a women’s art studio named after eminent artist Akay Koo’Oila. Visitors are welcome. 

Call Arts Centre Manager Sabine Hoeng on 4060 6843 or email arts@aurukun.qld.gov.auto organise a video call via FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype to show you around the Gallery and see the artworks.