New Works by Joanne Currie Nalingu Opening Tuesday 6th of April at 6pm

6th of April – 1st May 2010

Blood River

Louise Martin-Chew February 2010

Joanne Currie was born and spent her earliest childhood years at an Aboriginal mission just outside Mitchell, on the Maranoa River in Queensland. She left school in grade seven to care for her brothers and sisters and moved from her birthplace early in life. Absence from her country and the difficulty of her childhood left her feeling that her heritage has been eroded.

Making art is the dominant force in her life, alongside the primacy of her family – children Christie (26), Jessie (25), and Steve (24) and grandchildren Jaziah (5), Malaki (4), Anequa (2), Lebron-James (9 mths) and another grandson whose birth is imminent. It has overtaken their modest suburban home; the shields curing in fiberglass on the back verandah; a white marquee used for the sanding dominating the back yard; paintings both stacked and under production in the three bedrooms; and the walls covered with her dramatic artworks. ˜We sleep in the lounge’, Currie admits, laughing that the large plasma screen television that occupies one wall in the living room, her only indulgence after winning the Wynne Prize in 2008. Instinctively quiet, Currie prefers to let the strength of her art speak on her behalf.

Currie has strong memories of swimming and fishing in the Maranoa river as a child. However, the Yumba (mission) was bulldozed, and at a young age she moved to Mitchell with her family, then to other communities, finally settling in Brisbane, where she met Patrick, a fisherman. They have been together since Joanne was 16. After some years on North Stradbroke Island, they moved to Caloundra where they have now lived for 26 years. She began to paint after the birth of her third child, Steve, in 1988. Like other Queensland-based Indigenous artists of her generation including Judy Watson, Fiona Foley, Laurie Nilsen and Richard Bell, her art was inspired by the rise of the Aboriginal art movement. From the beginning she has created paintings in an effort to reconnect with the traditions and cultural mores she missed through the move away from the river at Mitchell.


Artist: joanne currie nalingu

Category: Australia ,

Tags: Joanne Currie Nalingu ,

Gallery: Cooee Art Gallery ,