Anne Nunn with her work, Kunjuri, Shield at Bana Yirriji Art Centre. Image: Bana Yirriji Art Centre

Artist Profile: Anne Nunn

Anne Nunn is a dedicated artist who has worked with the Bana Yirriji Art Centre since it began in 2011. Anne was born in 1966 and is from the Kuku Yalanji language group.

Anne has participated in many group exhibitions over the past years including the Spirit Festival fashion performance in Adelaide, Parliament House in Brisbane, and most recently at the National Museum of Australia for the ‘Endeavour Voyage: Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians’ in Canberra.

“My name is Anne Nunn and I am a Nyungul women, I was born in Mossman, QLD and grew up in Wujual Wujal. My grandparents are form the Helensvale area. Our totem is the black red tail cockatoo and the stingray. I have been making art for a few years now and have just started working with ochres. I remember the old stories and put them in my artwork. I started watching my grandfather paint when I was 12 years old. I started painting animals and trees and started getting into shields just lately. That is my story about the shield.”

When thinking about the time last year when the artists were making work for the Endeavour Voyage exhibition Anne says, “We collected pieces of driftwood found on the Weary Bay beach. Most of it comes from the rainforest trees but perhaps some of the pieces come from the Endeavour ship’s wooden hull (laughter)? Captain James Cook stumbled upon some Aboriginal people with spears and shields. My paintings are about the Kunjuri (shields). Our ancestors used Kunjuri for fighting and protecting themselves from getting hurt.”

Main image credit: Anne Nunn with her work, Kunjuri, Shield at Bana Yirriji Art Centre. Image: Bana Yirriji Art Centre

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