Rhonda Duncan

I’m Rhonda Duncan, my Aboriginal name is Brukgin, my skin is Gamanyjan. My mother is a Millwarparra woman, and her language is Ngalakgan. My father is Ritharrŋu from north-east Arnhem Land. I like to paint the land and all the animals, and birds. When you look at Country it’s really open, you can get anything you need from that land. But we have to take proper care of that Country, look after that place, the river, billabong, every little thing in that land, my mother’s Country. All these places where I have painted remind me of our ancestors and you can feel their spirit. When you go there you can feel them there watching what you’re doing. You can have that special thing inside you, that feeling, a sort of grieving.

When I was young, we used to go out with mum and dad but I never was bothered to be an artist. I used to see my mum and dad be artists, my sisters and brothers too. One day I asked all my brothers and sisters to teach me, but they all growled ‘no we don’t want to teach you, learn your own way”. After that I started drawing, carving, painting, doing my own style.

Heather Koowootha

Heather was born in Cairns and spent time in Aurukun as a toddler learning from her old people. She spent time living in Aurukun’s “top-end” village with her uncle Don Taipangoompa (Kanamp) and his wife.

Heather’s father Kanamp was born in the bush near Pormpuraaw, South Kendall River to Knox River area. Heather’s mother was a Yidinji Traditional Owner from Yarrabah and Gordonvale. On her father’s side, Heather belongs to the Wik-Mungkan people and on her mother’s side, she is a Tjapukai/Yidinji/Kuganji women.

Heather works in a range of mediums including drawing, printmaking, painting, ceramics and weaving.
She has spent several working as an artist with Canopy Arts. She was recently a resident artist and arts worker at the Wik & Kugu Arts Centre where she is exploring her roots and more traditional ochre painting and carving techniques.

Courtesy of Wik and Kugu Art Centre.

Keith Wikmunea

Keith Wikmunea was born in 1967 in Aurukun.
He was raised in Aurukun by his parents. 
Keith is from Wik-Alken (mother’s side) and Wik-Mungkan (father’s side).
His totems are the White Cookatoo, and Goanna from his father’s side and the Galah and Frilled-neck lizard from this mother’s side.
Keith’s country is Kencherang (father’s side) which is north from Aurukun.
There’s a large freshwater lagoon there. During the wet season the saltwater comes up the creek during the high tides.  
There is one large creek that comes into the country which splits out into my mother’s country called Ti-tree.
When the freshwater breaks out in the wet season it joins
with the creek at Kencherang and connects to the saltwater. 
Keith belongs to the Apalech clan from his father’s side.
His mother’s side is the Winchanum clan.
As an artist Keith is passionate about passing on his creative and cultural knowledge to future generations.

Courtesy of Wik and Kugu Art Centre.

Amy Loogatha

Elsie Gabori

Matthew Stanton

Matthew Stanton (b. 1975) is an Australian Artist, Educator and Photographer living and working between Melbourne and Cairns. His work primarily utilises the mediums of still photography, 16mm film and video; investigating the interrelationships between ecological, spatial and biogeographical histories within landscapes whilst tracing their lingering psychological associations.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His most recent solo suite of works from the series ‘Deep North’ was exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne (2019). Other solo exhibitions include ‘Conversation Piece’ at MARS Gallery, Melbourne in 2016 and ‘Deep North’ at Wallflower Photomedia Gallery in Mildura in 2015. His work was included in ‘37° Sur a 19° Norte’ at the City Museum in Cuernavaca, Mexico and he was a participating artist in the inaugural Bristol Biennial (UK) in 2012.

He was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize (2007) and selected by curatorial Judges Petrina Hicks and Monica Allende as a finalist in the Perth Centre for Photography’s ‘Iris’ and ‘Clip’ awards in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
His works are held in the collections of the Museo de la Ciudad de Cuernavaca (Mexico) and the Geelong Gallery.

From 2004-2018 he worked extensively as an educator in Fine Art photography at the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne), Monash and Deakin Universities.

Matthew Stantons solo exhibition Deep North will be showing at NorthSite Contemporary Arts in February 2022.


Lenore Howard

Born in Cairns in 1955. Howard commenced an artistic career with studies at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane in 1976. She worked as a photographic correspondent and editorial artist at The Cairns Post in the 1980s and worked as an art lecturer at Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE in the 1990s. Howard has curated, coordinated, and exhibited in 40 plus key exhibitions.

Lenore Howard is a founding member of the Kick Arts Collective Inc. 1993 and was part of the inaugural Kick Arts exhibition The Fish John West Regrets curated by Chris Downie. She then coordinated the seminal feminist show produced by Kick Arts Collective at the nascent Cairns Regional Gallery in 1995. Titled No Piece of Cake, and curated by former Lynne Seear, the exhibition included the work of Howard and fifteen female contemporaries. That same year Howard exhibited at Queensland Art Gallery in the show, Regions and Rituals, with her work resultingly entering the State gallery’s permanent collection. Since then Howard has exhibited work in London, New York, Paris, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Canberra, Brisbane and Cairns.

Intimate narratives and personal journeys thread through Howard’s work, a practice that can be seen to have transgressed from surrealist symbologies to abstract tendencies over the course of 40 years. Social and political references are embodied within the thought behind forms though not always overt in Howard’s final works.

Robert Tommy Pau

Tommy is a descendant of the Eastern Torres Strait Islands, Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islander and Asia. He speaks Torres Strait Creole and Australian English. He was taught about the need to keep culture strong through cultural practice by his father. He has a strong commitment to keeping old traditions alive and believes that culture must remain true to the past and move with time to exist in the future. Tommy has considerable experience in the arts and his art forms of choice include printmaking, painting and sculpture.

He has completed a Bachelor of Education and currently completing a BA in New Media at James Cook University, Cairns.  He was a semi-finalist in the Telstra Art Award in 2017 and was the winner of the Works on Paper section of the 2016 Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.   His works are in major public and private collections in Australia.  He is passionate in representing Indigenous arts and artists in general and the protection and true representation of Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.

Francoise Lane

Francoise Lane is a artist and textile designer that helps lovers of standout textiles and pattern by creating unique textiles inspired by stories of connection to country. Her goal is that her textiles will bring joy to your home and put a delightful spring in your step when you wear them.

Francoise Lane is a Torres Strait Islander woman whose maternal family are from Kerriri. She identifies as both Meriam and Kaurareg. She is married to Andrew Lane and together they are Indij Design; a 100% indigenous owned, award winning architectural and design practice based in Cairns and operating since 2011. In 2013 Francoise developed artworks inspired by her connection to the Torres Strait Islands and exploration of visually storytelling.

Her artworks have been adapted into repeat patterns and specified for upholstery and applied art to architectural designed structural screens. She has also designed fashion accessories integrating design elements of the textile art.

“I’m instinctively drawn to subjects whereby patterns can create their own ‘energy’ on a canvas. As an example ‘Sardines under the Wharf’ on a large canvas creates a visual play of movement, like the stylised fish are swimming.” Originally developed as artworks they have been converted into design repeats suitable for textile applications and applied art to the built environment.

Kate Robertson

Through experimental analogue and digital photographic techniques, Kate explores unseen yet felt phenomena relating to healing and connectedness within community contexts.

Recent exhibitions include From All Points of the Southern Sky: Photography From Australia and Oceania, Southeast Museum of Photography (2020); Bakehouse Billboard Takeover for Centre for Contemporary Photography (2019), Recording the Medicinal Plants of Siwai, Bougainville, Jarvis Dooney Galerie (2018) for European Month of Photography; New Matter, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2016); The Alchemists, Australian Centre for Photography (2015); Garnkiny to Ganyu: Artists who capture the night, GYRACC, Katherine (2015). She has exhibited in Australia, Papua New Guinea, America, United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, China and New Zealand.

In 2018, Kate’s work was published in a book titled Kuna Siwai Pokong, which has been accessioned into the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery (PNG), Australian Museum (AUS) and Field Museum (USA). Her work is held in numerous collections, including The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AUS), Southeast Museum of Photography (USA) and Center for Creative Photography (USA).