Sonia Kurarra | Artist Profile

Details of Sonia Kurarra


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.


Fitzroy River and billanongs near Yungngora (Noonkanbah)
River behind Yungngora


2016 SONIA Hanging Valley, QVC, Melbourne VIC
2016 Pinakarriiluny Marnalunya Ngalimpakura Artists ReDot Gallery, Singapore
2014 Sonia Kurarra ReDot Fine Art Gallery, Singapore
2014 Sonia Kurarra Gabreille Pizzi Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2013 Sonia Kurarra Aboriginal And PAcfic Art, Sydney, NSW
2012/13 Sonia Kurarra FORM Gallery, Perth, WA
2012 Sonia Kurarra Gabreille Pizzi Gallery, Melbounre, VIC
2011 A Sonia Kurarra Exhibition, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2009 Sonia Kurarra, Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, WA
2009 Sonia Kurarra, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney, NSW

2018 Wynne Prize Finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
2017 Mangkaja Artist - Tanarnthi, Art Gallery of South Australia, SA
2017 Mangkaja Waters, Short St Gallery, Broome WA
2016 Gimme Shelter - A Survey Show from the Artists of Fitzroy Valley, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2015 Bankwest Art Prize Perth, WA
2015 Taranthi 'Works of Significance' Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
2015 Salon de Refuse Darwin, NT
2014 Bankwest Art Prize Bank West Gallery, Perth, WA
2014 Country to Coast; Colours of the Kimberley, Aboriginal Art Museum -
Utrecht. Curated by Georges Petitjean
2013 Austrlian and Torres Strait Islander Award, MGNT, Darwin, NT
2012 Mangkaja Works on Paper, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2010 White, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2009 Sharing Difference on Common Ground, Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth, WA
2009 Shalom Gamarada, Caspary Conference Centre, University of NSW
2009 East Meets West, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney, NSW
2009 Senior Artists from Fitzroy Crossing, Suzanne O'Donell Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2009 Mangkaja Survey Show, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2009 Emerging And Re-emerging, Outstantion, Darwin, NT
2009 Margaret River meets Fitzroy Crossing, Turnbridge Gallery, Margaret River, WA
2008 Bendi Lango, Indigenous Scholarship Fund, Sydney & Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2008 Mangkaja Artists WA, Randell Lane FIne Art, Melbourne, VIC
2008 Women on Country, Suzanne O'Donell Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2008 Divas of The Desert, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney, NSW
2008 Marnintu Maparnana, ReDot Gallery, Singapore
2008 Wet n' Wild, Artkeich,Freiburg, Germany
2007 Bendi Lango, the Indigenous Scholarship Fund, Sydney, NSW
2007 Women Artists of Fitzroy Crossing, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2003 Water and Food, Cullity Gallery, University of WA

National Gallery of Victoria
The Art Gallery of WA
Art Gallery NSW
The Lepley Collection, Perth
Kerry Stokes
Holmes a Court Collection
Brocard - Estrangin Collection
The Art Gallery of NSW
The Lepley Collection
Geraldton Regional Art Gallery
Murdoch University Art Collection
Westfarmers Collection of Australian Art
Peter & Agnes Cooke Collection
Bertrand Estragin Collection

2016 Finalist - Port Headland Art awards
2015 Finalist - Bankwest Art Prize
2015 Overall Winner - Kimberley Art Prize
2012 Winner Most Outstanding Work - Hedland Art Award
2010 Winner of Best Indigenous work - WA Art Awards
2010 Finalist in the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, Art Gallery of WA

2010 Fitzroy Crossing Swimming Pool

2017: Arts Backbone, Vol 16 Issue 2 & Vol 17 Issue 1, August 2017
2014: Arts Backbone, Vol 14 Issue 1, August 2014
2012: Exhibition Catalogue Tandanya SA/ Mamgkaja Arts Resource Agency, Wirrinyiya Ngarangngarag Birra Ngamoo Ngamoo
2009: Kimberley Aboriginal Artists, Sharing Difference on Common Ground
2003: Exhibition Catalogue, Cullity Gallery UWA Perth/ Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Martuwarra and Jila, Jumu, Jiwari and Wirrkuja

Artworks of Sonia Kurarra