Lockhart River is famous for the young and energetic group of artists who work at the Lockhart River Art and Culture Centre.
Lockhart River is a remote Aboriginal Community on the east coast of Cape York in far north Queensland. It is about 850 km north of Cairns by road. During the wet season, creeks and rivers flood and close the road into town from the highway. Sea and air are the only access at this time. In some wet seasons the road can be closed from December until June.
The community of about 600 people is located 2 km from Quintal Beach in Lloyd Bay and is bounded by rainforest, low mountain ranges and the sea. The coastline is strung with sandy beaches where creeks and rivers enter the sea through mangrove protected estuaries. Traditional foods (bush tucker and seafood) are popular. People enjoy their traditional lands and retain many aspects of traditional culture.
Over the years a group of young, contemporary artists have developed in the community. They are known locally as ‘The Art Gang’ (a work gang whose occupation is art work and related activities). They are supported and work professionally through the community Arts Centre.
All of these contemporary artists are between 20 and 30 years old. Their main works are paintings on canvas and fine art prints.
These artists include:
- adrian king
- terry platt
- fiona omeenyo
- sammy clarmont
- samantha hobson
- patrick butcher
- silas hobson
- evelyn sandy
- rosella namok
- leroy platt
The Art Gang’s work is a contemporary response to the environment, culture and traditions of this isolated Aboriginal Community. It expresses some of the realities of being Aboriginal and the strong influences of traditional culture and values in their world. They have developed their own forms of expression which are very different from the art of central Australia and other parts of Australia. The art from Lockhart River promotes the cultural identity of young Aboriginal people in contemporary Australian culture.