Local Indigenous Artist Alicia Close uses a varied colour palette in her paintings that depict her connection with the Quandamooka region. We sat down with Alicia to have a chat about her art practice and her current work.

How do you find inspiration?

I am from Quandamooka counrty, Minjerribah, Nth Stradbtoke Island. Stories from my Old People inspire me. My ancestors, their ways, food, teachings and traditions. I want to share these stories to give people a better understanding of our culture. I love the colours of Quandamooka country. The colours of the ocean, shoreline, bush, shells and fish. The memories I have of the time spent on Stradbroke island and at Fingal, fishing and crabbing with my uncles. Growing up eating traditional foods, visiting places on the island and being taught the stories of those places.

Why are you drawn to a certain style of art or making?

Being from a coastal clan, I love using blues and greens with ocean themes.

What type of tools or materials do you use and recommend?

I use acrylic paint. I also screen print my drawings on soft furnishings.

What would you do differently or the same in your art career looking back?

Started painting sooner. I have loved art for as long as I can remember but I never thought I could paint until I started working at Salt Water Murris Aboriginal art gallery doing administration work.

What is your favourite piece by another artist?

That’s so hard to choose. There are too many. Belinda Close’s paintings are amazing. She paints from the heart and it shows through her art.

What is your process like?

There is so much I want to share through my art. It’s mainly always the story or the season that inspires my art. I sketch on paper first then translate the idea onto stretched

Why do you create art?

To educate and share stories from Quandamooka country and to keep the memories and stories of our Old People alive.

Are you self taught or have you had formal training?

Yes I am self taught and have no formal art training.

Do you have or have had a mentor and what did they teach you?

( through workshops ) Steve Johnson from Salt Water Murris Aboriginal Art gallery gives me great tips and advice. I never would have started painting if it weren’t for him.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a commission for a customer of the Manly Harbour Gallery. They chose me to do an artwork because of the story my art tells. They live close to the water of Moreton bay so they wanted an artwork that told a story of the water on their doorstep so they felt more connected to their home.

Alicia’s photo she credits to @mattosullivanphotography

The stories that Alicia encapsulates in her work and the reverence she shows to the earth and nature certainly makes her paintings stand out. The association with our local area makes these extra special pieces in our local Manly Art Gallery. We are very lucky to have Alicia as an artist in our gallery and look forward to hearing every story that inspires her work.

See more of Alicia Close’s work here.

Indigenous Artist Alicia Close

Alicia Close

Winnam warrill, ganree yarra yugu (Wynnum Creek, we go there)