Sonia Kurarra Australia, Walmajarri, b. 1952
Sonia Kurarra grew up in the river country at Yungngora (Nookanbah). She used to help the kindergarten teacher with teaching art. They used to take the children out to the Sandy Billabong and teach them how to paint and dance. There is a ngarrangkarni [Dreamtime] snake that lives in the billabong. His name is Nangurra.
Sonia began painting at Mangkaja in the early 1990's working mostly on paper. SInce 2008, Sonia has been working predominately on canvas and her practice has become more consistent. She has exhibited in numerous group shows and had an overwhelming response to her first solo show in 2009.
Sonia paints the billabong country along the stretch of the Fitzroy River that runs directly behind the community. After the flood waters recede, there are billabongs that hold a plentiful supply of parlka [barramundi], kurlumajarti [catfish], and bream. She paints gapi [fish], parrmarr [rocks] where the fish is cooked, ngurti [coolamon] and a karli [boomerang].
Sonia paints these images over and over as though they are etched into her psyche; works that are linear representations in monotones and others that are layers lathered on with wild and confident brushstrokes. These contemporary compositions display her outstanding understanding of colour.