AMY LOOGATHA, 'My Country', Painting, 57.8 x 76.5 cm
"I remember getting a message that Aunty Sally Gabori was coming over to Bentinck to show us something. She brought one of her painƟngs and gave it to Ethel. It was beautiful. So we decided that we would follow Sally and paint too. I got a shock when I went to the Art Centre and saw all my sisters and Aunties painting. Now I paint with them.
I was born behind Nyinyilki on Bentinck Island. I remember when I was small and planes used to ﬂy overhead we used to run and hide in the mangroves. It was fun playing and growing up on Bentinck as small girls but that soon changed when they came and took us away and dumped us on Mornington Island on 1946.
Life was very hard in the dormitory. We were fed ﬂour with weavels in it, we had to bathe in salt water and our clothes were made out of rough material like the canvas we now paint on. I went out to the mainland to work for a few years on staƟons before coming back to Mornington and having children.
When our land-rights came it was great to be free of Mornington Is. and return to our home. I took my grandchildren with me to show them their traditional country and to live on our homeland once again."
Courtesy of the artist.