Claudia Moodoonuthi (b. 1995) is a Kaiailt artist from Bentick Island in the Gulf of Carpenteria. She spent much of her childhood on Country with her family, fishing and hunting, developing a deep connection to the land and to the traditional ways of the Lardil and Kaiadilt peoples. These experiences are reflected through her bright and colourful artworks. Many of Moodoonuthi’s paintings depict waterholes, grasses, sea life and the many rocks off the coastline of Bentinck Island.
For her work 360 Flip on Country, 2014, Moodoonuthi collected discarded skateboards that reminded her of her childhood growing up on Bentinck Island. She covered them in traditional designs; the faces reference traditional Kaiadilt art and the bold striped and dotted compositions beneath the wheels reflect Lardil iconography. By working on these everyday objects she elevates their status – from everyday items to works of art that speak of identity, culture and place.
Moodoonuthi’s work also shows how art and design can intertwine. She has designed a series of coffee tables which pay homage to members of her family, and has collaborated with brands such as MECCA cosmetics, and the NGV Design Store developing designs for fashion and marketing. The designs draw directly from her vibrant, colourful and bold style of work. Her skateboards, design objects and collaborations demonstrate how artists can reach and engage with a larger audience through merging art with design.
Look at the works by Claudia Moodoonuthi and consider and discuss the following questions with your class:
Students present their design to a partner and discuss: