Western Cape artist Lisa Michl, has two reasons to be smiling!
She was recently given her bush name, Ko-mangge’n (meaning Catfish) and has just landed her first solo exhibition entitled "Earth Dust" at Cairns Regional Gallery. Lisa is of the Kokoberrin language group, located on the West Coast of Cape York Peninsula. Her traditional homelands, on her grandmothers side, are know as Pinnarich and stretch between Staaten River National Park and north to Nassau River, including Wyabba Creek and Dorunda Lodge area.
A close affiliation with her elders and traditional homelands is the inspiration for Lisa’s large paintings. The works are beautifully coloured in earth tones and with a delicate touch Lisa tells the Kokoberrin creation stories, passed to her by the elders, their forefathers and her extended family.
Lisa Michl said, “I use design, colour, thoughts and feelings to express elements of our creation stories, traditional practices and everyday lifestyle so that our ways are transferred onto younger generations of Kokoberrin.”
Locals may know Lisa’s artwork from group shows at Banggu Minjaany Arts Cultural Centre, and Cairns Regional Gallery, as well as her work co-ordinating the NAIDOC Week Exhibition in 2005.
Lisa lives south of Cairns and works as an Indigenous Arts Project Office at the TANKS art Centre and is based at Cairns City Council Community & Cultural Well Being Service.
In 2005, Lisa was selected to exhibit her work Cabbage Palm in the prestigious Telstra Art Award, held annually in Darwin. After this event, she was invited to show at Andrew Baker’s commercial gallery in Brisbane. Astute art collectors lined up to buy Lisa’s work, with large works of art going to numerous private collections.
With this success so early in her career, Lisa Michl is obviously a name to watch out for in the future.
The exhibition, supported by the Australia Council and the Regional Arts Development Fund, Arts Queensland and Cairns City Council, is on show until 16thApril.