NETTA LOOGATHA | ‘My Country’ | Painting / acrylic on linen board

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"This is my country on Bentinck Island at Oak Tree Point. We call it 'Lookati' in our kayardild language. I was born here at Bilmee, dog story place" 

"I was only a small child when our people were brought to Mornington Island and forced to live in the mission. I grew up in the dormitory, like all the other children. My father King Alfred was killed when I was only a baby so I was really grown up by the missionaries. It was hard, they were cruel to us if we were naughty and would lock us up or cut our hair really short. As I grew into a young woman I went and worked on lots of cattle stations around Cloncurry and ended up moving to Darwin where I had a partner and lived there for 30 years away from Mornington Island and Bentinck Island. I only came back in 2008 so that I could be with my family and live back on Bentinck Island. When old May died the other Bentenck artists asked me to come and join their group and paint at the Art Centre. I had done a little bit of painting in Darwin on small canvas boards more for fun than anything else. I really like to go to the Art Centre and paint with old Aunty Sally and my other sisters. We have so much fun. I paint Thundi where I was born and Makarrki where my father was born. It makes me feel good and proud when I see the finished painting" - Netta Loogatha

 

NETTA LOOGATHA | ‘My Country’ | 2020 | Acrylic on linen board | 30.5 x 40.6 cm