AboutMiss Claudia Janice Moodoonuthi
Claudia has developed great interest and ability in the area of photography. Her natural style is relaxed and intimate, and her work reflects her experiences in remote communities.
For the first seven years of Claudia’s life she was raised by her Grandmother on Bentinck and Mornington Islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Claudia enthusiastically shares stories of times spent with her family living, hunting and gathering in the bush. Her deep connection to country and traditional ways of both the Lardil and Kayardild peoples was clearly embedded into her psyche during these formative years of development. Her stories of the Little People of Mornington Island are exciting, intriguing and at times quite frightening.
In 2003 Claudia relocated to Aurukun on the western side of the Cape York Peninsula to live with Grandmother’s brother. Her father, mother, brother and sister remained on Mornington Island. The Aurukun community warmly accepted Claudia into their families and so today she is considered a ‘local’.
Claudia’s Aurukun grandmothers and aunties have been instrumental in sharing with Claudia an appreciation of Wik Mungkan lore, beliefs and customs. Consequently she is savvy with regard to the historical facts associated with the establishment of the Aurukun Mission by Presbyterian authorities. This knowledge makes her extremely respectful of those who have walked before her. Her innate sense of equity and social justice is quite unique for a person of her tender years.
Claudia’s family experiences have significantly shaped the person she is today – caring, artistic and culturally responsive.
In recent years Claudia has developed great interest and ability in the area of photography. Her natural style is relaxed and intimate, and her work reflects her experiences in remote communities. Her endearing manner with others enables close-ups to be taken without any sign of invasion or inappropriateness. Many of Claudia’s pictures portray people in ‘real’ circumstance; no pretence. The images stand simply on the honesty she has so magically captured.
Alongside her photographs stand her canvas paintings. A feeling for the close ties to country, families, tribe, language and remarkable history permeate her images. Bold colour and graphic detail are hallmarks of Claudia’s natural painting style. A style so greatly influenced by her Great Grandmother, May Moodoonuthi and May’s sister Sally Gabori.
Claudia’s potential to create, develop and bring to the ‘city’ images from remote communities is very exciting and possibly groundbreaking. Her city images are fresh and unique. She is able to magically blend the two very differing worlds she calls home.