b. 1995, Australia

Claudia Moodoonuthi Biography

Claudia Moodoonuthi spent the first seven years of her life on Bentinck and Mornington Islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria being raised by her late great-grandmother May Moodoonuthi. During these formative years Claudia spent her time fishing, hunting and gathering in the bush with her family, developing a deep connection to the country and traditional ways of the Lardil and Kayardild people.

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In 2003 Claudia relocated to Aurukun, situated on the western side of the Cape York Peninsula, to live with her grandmother’s brother. Although her father, mother, brother and sister stayed on Mornington Island, Claudia Moodoonuthi was warmly welcomed into the Aurukun community and was considered a ‘local’. Her Aurukun aunties and grandmothers have been active in instilling a strong respect for Wik Mungkan customs, lore and beliefs, within her.

Claudia Moodoonuthi’s canvas paintings reflect her connection to country. Her bold and colourful images are also greatly influenced by her language, tribe, history, and family, including her late great-grandmother May Moodoonuthi and the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori). May Moodoonuthi and Mrs Gabori were among the seven Kaiadilt ‘sisters’ from Bentinck Island who burst onto the art scene at Mornington Island Art with their enchanting work incorporating the blazing colours of the tropics in 2005.

Claudia has also developed an interest in photography in recent years, completing a Certificate III in Photography at the Australian Design College in 2012. Her relaxed style allows her to create intimate close-up portraits that reflect her experiences in remote communities. The portraiture is also reflected in her puppet making, and mixed with a wicked sense of humour adds significantly to her developing art practice. In 2012, she was the winner of the Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award and held her first solo exhibition Claudia’s Story, at the Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Queensland.

In 2013, Alcaston Gallery was thrilled to present Claudia’s first exhibition at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. Titled Claudia Moodoonuthi – New Paintings, the exhibition featured paintings with bold imagery and vibrant colours that spoke of a deep connection between country and family.

In 2014, Claudia Moodoonuthi was announced as a finalist for the Churchie National Emerging Art Prize. Established in 1987, the art prize encourages innovation and excellence in the arts. In July 2014, she exhibited in SOLID! Queensland Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture at Cairns Regional Gallery and in the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2014 with Alcaston Gallery.

Claudia Moodoonuthi currently lives and works in Brisbane where she is completing a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at Griffith University, Queensland. In 2015 Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present a new exhibition of paintings and installation by the artist entitled My Body, My Country.

© The Artist and Alcaston Gallery, 2015

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