Claudia Moodoonuthi spent the first seven years of her life on Bentinck and Mornington Islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria being raised by her late great-grandmother May Moodoonuthi. During these formative years Claudia spent her time fishing, hunting and gathering in the bush with her family, developing a deep connection to the country and traditional ways of the Lardil and Kayardild people.
In 2003 Claudia relocated to Aurukun, situated on the western side of the Cape York Peninsula, to live with her grandmother’s brother. Although her father, mother, brother and sister stayed on Mornington Island, Claudia Moodoonuthi was warmly welcomed into the Aurukun community and was considered a ‘local’. Her Aurukun aunties and grandmothers have been active in instilling a strong respect for Wik Mungkan customs, lore and beliefs, within her.
Claudia Moodoonuthi’s canvas paintings reflect her connection to country. Her bold and colourful images are also greatly influenced by her language, tribe, history, and family, including her late great-grandmother May Moodoonuthi and the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori). May Moodoonuthi and Mrs Gabori were among the seven Kaiadilt ‘sisters’ from Bentinck Island who burst onto the art scene at Mornington Island Art with their enchanting work incorporating the blazing colours of the tropics in 2005.
Claudia has also developed an interest in photography in recent years, completing a Certificate III in Photography at the Australian Design College in 2012. Her relaxed style allows her to create intimate close-up portraits that reflect her experiences in remote communities. The portraiture is also reflected in her puppet making, and mixed with a wicked sense of humour adds significantly to her developing art practice. In 2012, she was the winner of the Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award and held her first solo exhibition Claudia’s Story, at the Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Queensland.
In 2013, Alcaston Gallery was thrilled to present Claudia’s first exhibition at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. Titled Claudia Moodoonuthi – New Paintings, the exhibition featured paintings with bold imagery and vibrant colours that spoke of a deep connection between country and family.
In 2014, Claudia Moodoonuthi was announced as a finalist for the Churchie National Emerging Art Prize. Established in 1987, the art prize encourages innovation and excellence in the arts. In July 2014, she exhibited in SOLID! Queensland Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture at Cairns Regional Gallery and in the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2014 with Alcaston Gallery.
In 2015 Alcaston Gallery was delighted to present our first solo exhibition by Claudia Moodoonuthi, titled My Body, My Country, which was a sell-out show. Also in 2015 Claudia was a Finalist - Highly Commended in the 32nd Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards and her work featured in the group exhibition Artnow: Far North Queensland at Cairns Regional Gallery.
The Cairns Regional Gallery presented the major solo exhibition of Claudia's paintings, woven artworks and sculptures entitled 'Woven Identity' from 24 June – 4 September 2016.
In 2016 – 2017 Claudia Moodoonuthi’s work was featured in 'Who’s Afraid of Colour' at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, which brought together a broad range of Indigenous women artists whose practices are unbounded by convention.
2017 was a momentous year for Moodoonuthi. Redland Art Gallery, Queensland, presented a major solo exhibition of her work, titled Ruby and Hunter: Claudia Moodoonuthi, and her painting My Body, My Country was projected onto the William Jolly Bridge as part of Maiwar Festival, Brisbane.
In September 2017 she was awarded the Artbank + QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre) Commission, QLD. In November 2017 a major installation created for the Mecca Cosmetica + National Gallery of Victoria Holiday collaboration was launched at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Claudia Moodoonuthi also presented solo exhibition, Ruby and Hunter in Dulka Warngiid (Story Place), at Alcaston Gallery.
In 2016 Claudia completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at Griffith University, Queensland. Claudia Moodoonuthi currently lives and works in Brisbane.
© The Artist and Alcaston Gallery, 2020
2012/13 Claudia’s Story, Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia
2013 Claudia Moodoonuthi – New Paintings, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2013 Special exhibition as part of NAIDOC week, Commonwealth Bank Queen Street Branch, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2015 My Body, My Country, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2016 Claudia Moodoonuthi: Woven Identity, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
2017 Ruby and Hunter: Claudia Moodoonuthi, Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland, Queensland, Australia
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2013 Fresh, Salt Contemporary Gallery, Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia
2013 Regeneration McCulloch and McCulloch, Balnarring, Victoria, Australia
2013 Commonwealth Bank Australia Flagship Branch, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2013 A Salon Show for Indigenous Literacy, DMCPR media in conjunction with McCulloch & McCulloch, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
2013 QGC 2013 ‘Artoriginal’ Indigenous Art Exhibition, Brisbane Town Hall, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2014 The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, Griffith University Art Gallery, Queensland College of Art, Southbank Queensland, Australia
2014 SOLID! Queensland Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
2014 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2014, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, represented by Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2014 Dreamings: L’arte Aborigena Australiana Incontra de Chirico, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Aranciera di Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy
2015/16 ArtNow Far North Queensland, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
2016 Provenance Does Matter - The Collectors' Exhibition, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne,Victoria, Australia
2016-17 Who’s Afraid of Colour, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2017 Maiwar, Brisbane City Council City-wide Exhibition, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2017 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, represented by Alcaston Gallery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
2018 Razzamatazz, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
2019 Guirguis New Art Prize 2019, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
2010 Runner-up, Brisbane Earth Charter Photographic Competition
2012 WINNER, Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
2013 Participant, My Island, My Country – NAIDOC Week Photographic Competition
2014 Finalist, The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize
2015 Finalist – Highly Commended, 32nd Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
2018 Winner, Kennelly Constructions Aboriginal Achievement Award, Queensland Young Achiever Awards
2019 Finalist, Guirguis New Art Prize 2019, Post Office Gallery | Art Gallery of Ballarat | Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Artbank Collection, commissioned 2017
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
International Education Services Indigenous Art Collection, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Queensland Health Collection, Brisbane
For an extended CV, please contact Alcaston Gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Claudia Moodoonuthi, installation of 360 flip on Country, 2014, painted skateboards, collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.