Chern’ee Sutton is an 18 year old contemporary Indigenous artist from Mt Isa, Queensland.Her great, great, great grandmother is listed as an apical ancestor of the Kalkadoon tribe and her uncle is a Kalkadoon community chairman. Chern’ee began painting at 13 years old in 2010, when her school teacher encouraged her to enter the Yoorellgoo Indigenous art competition, in which she won first place in the painting category. She had never painted before. From this point onwards, Chern’ee Sutton embraced painting and worked ‘madly’ and constantly throughout the next 4 years; a journey that has rewarded her hard work with a plethora of both national and international successes. Most notably and recently, Chern’ee was awarded the NAIDOC National Youth of the Year Award for her contribution to the arts community.
Her fervid, bold and vivacious approach to painting her family’s stories is simply inimitable and visually unique in colour, composition and texture. Chern’ee embodies her ancestor’s culturally sacred stories in a style that is both perceptive and optimistic; a reflection of a young Aboriginal person’s view on their identity and culture. Chern’ee’s artistic objectives are to promote reconciliation and enable a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal life and culture. Her positive spirit, buoyancy, pride and good will are engrained on the surface of the canvases she diligently produces while simultaneously completing high school.
Her various achievements mirror the inspirational figure that Chern’ee has become, proving that despite her young age, anything is possible when ambition meets passion.