The late Queenie McKenzie is hailed as undisputed Queen of the Kimberley Ochre Painters. She was from Texas Downs country, as is Charlene’s family. Noted for her landscape works, Queenie was also a very clever figurative artist, this style being particularly difficult to execute in ochre medium. Queenie was instrumental in encouraging young artists, particularly Charlene who commenced painting at the age of 10. In this work, Charlene has painted a very famous artwork of Queenie’s depicting an incident which happened long ago on Texas Downs Station as a tribute to one of her mentors. Queenie McKenzie taught the young girls both culture and painting technique, hoping that the stories of her Kitja heritage would be carried on for generations.
Charlene grew up at Warmun/Turkey Creek, Western Australia, and was exposed to ochre painting at an early age, being the daughter of well respected artists, Churchill Cann and Sade Carrington, both coming from the community on nearby Texas Downs cattle station.
Texas has produced some wonderful painters, and having grown up in the environment of this art nursery, the young mother of five, now relishes the opportunity to paint her stories using the traditional techniques, no doubt benefiting from the mentoring from some of the finest of the Texas Downs/Turkey Creek ochre painting movement, Queenie McKenzie, Jack Britten, her grandfathers Beerbee Mungnari and Hector Jandany, Rover Thomas, and George Mung Mung.