Mornington Island Artists - Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland

Mornington Island Art is one of the longest established Indigenous art and cultural organisations in Australia. Mornington Island is a small island of rich cultural traditions, located in the south-east corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland. Fully owned and controlled by The Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation, Mornington Island Art delivers locally relevant programs that produce internationally significant artwork.

Established in 2005, Mornington Island Art is now a thriving centre. It began when a remarkable group of women led by Mirdidingkingathi Jurwarnda Sally Gabori, her two sisters and four nieces, came together to paint and share their experiences. These artists have since earned international acclaim with their uniquely colourful and vibrant works. The energy and activity within the centre, combined with its remote location and isolation from mainland and mainstream influences, results in work that is original and contemporary.

Characterised by a vivid and colourful palette and semi-abstract and abstract lines, shapes and forms, the Mornington Island artists are making strong contemporary artworks, not just strong Aboriginal artworks. Although the boundaries between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artwork are increasingly blurred, the work produced at MIART is a fusion of the traditional and the modern.

The Mornington Island artists are still heavily influenced by, and connected to, the land and culture in their artistic interpretations. Their physical and geographical remoteness means the artists do draw significantly on their cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs for inspiration. These are all centred on their strong connection to Country.

The MIART artists work in many different mediums including painting, fabrics and fashion, music and dance, and story-telling to express their art and ideas. The MIART studio is a place of shared culture and creativity, where stories are told and shared memories are kept alive. Language is integral to all the creative activities at the Art Centre whose primary purpose is to maintain and develop the cultures of the Lardil and Kaiadilt people by strengthening the community and promoting its unique stories, nationally and internationally.

The Mornington Island artists include Amanda Jane Gabori, Kaye Bush, Johnny Williams, Amy Loogatha, and Dorothy Gabori. The forerunner of this movement was the late Sally Gabori and many members of the Gabori family are still involved in the centre.

The MIART Studio at Mirndiyan Gununa is a place of stories, a place where artists keep their cultures and stories alive and vital. It is also a special place where the artists share their memories and sorrows while they create works of compelling vibrancy that reflect the real or imagined landscapes of Country.

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