Umpila, b. 1981 (Lockhart River)
Family Gathering, 2018 Reductive linoprint, III/III
21cm by 30cm
Umpila woman, Fiona Omeenyo is one of the original artists of the Lockhart River Art Gang.
Her paintings are recognised globally as she has exhibited widely since her art rose to prominence in the 1990s. She’s been involved in exhibitions in every capital city in Australia, Cairns, Darwin, Alice Springs and in Berlin, New York, Houston, New Mexico, London, and in Switzerland, France and Italy.
Many of her paintings are based upon the ancestral Creation stories of her homelands, as told to her by her uncle. Fiona de nes these ancestral stories as “true stories ... things that really happened ... before time.”
The other paintings are about family and country, connecting ancestral spirits with kin relationships simultaneously.
“My country is Pathacy (Chester River near Coen) that’s where my Grandmother is from. My gures are about family and country.
I do my painting to carry my culture on and so my children will know our stories. I paint the colours of the Country at home and the skies... No matter where you go, you’re still carrying these stories and memories for a life-time.”
Fiona Omeenyo lives in Cairns and mainly works through the Lockhart River Art Centre and Fireworks Gallery in Brisbane.
Double Stone is located at Quintel Beach in Lockhart River. It is a massive big double stone surrounded by large, medium and small double and single stone pieces. Her family and community members would walk to the stones during low tide, climb up the stones and do fishing. Family gathering is about all their families coming together in one place on their country or in community or even outside community for special traditional and cultural meetings, dancing, feasts. These can be both happy moments and for sorry business. Connections is about her movements, her family and people’s movements from time to time back to Country to reconnect with sacred ground, hunting ground, fishing, camping grounds, walking tracks and more. It’s making a reconnection from time to time so that they don’t loose their identity. They keep their culture and re-tell and keep their stories passed down from many generations by their parents, great grand parents and ancestors. These are what makes Fiona Omeenyo passionate in her artworks and through her body of works. Keeping her identity within a modern and changing time.