Rosella Namok

Rosella Namok

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DOB: 1979
Born: Lockhart River QLD
Language: Kanthanampu and Aangkum
Region: Eastern Cape York Peninsula

Born in May 1979, and from the Kanthanampu and Aangkum language group, Rosella Namok comes from an artist bloodline: she is the daughter of another leading Lockhart River artist, Irene Namok.

Rosella is a prominent member of the Lockhart River 'Art Gang'. Her work straddles the ground between modern and traditional, referring to the traditional stories of her people and the clans of her area, while also exploring personal and contemporary narratives.

In describing her art, Rosella explains "I paint about country and people around me...about traditional culture...about things that happen... things we do... the weather... our isolated community. My recent paintings have been about how people live in our community and about Country."

Rosella was the first Lockhart River artist to have a solo show 1999, and since then has had regular exhibitions in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. In the short span of her career, her work has been included in over 30 national and international exhibitions, biennales and prizes; and acquired by every major public gallery in Australia, not to mention major corporate and private collections here and overseas.

Rosella has two children and when she is not painting, she enjoys fishing and camping with family.

For more detail on Rosella's stories, continue reading:-

Rosella's depictions of the monsoonal rains in her tropical homeland may be the most representational in her abstract oeuvre, but they also capture the psychological impact of the downpour; from the joyous light misty rain to the dense engulfing deluge.

In Early Shower Rain, we can also see the influence of Rosella's silk-screen background - the pull of carefully selected colours suggest the form of the landscape and allows for a certain degree of relaxed contemplation in her imagery.

In Old Girls... Yarn at Night Time, Rosella paints with her fingers, an adaptation of the way that women elders pull their fingers through the sand while yarning. Each panel has a character of its own, and yet they have a tonal and formal coherence. One feels impelled to read each panel as one of the group of women who gather to yarn about their life and the community and to pass on knowledge to the younger generation.

Another preoccupation in Rosella's body of work are her clan artworks - where she uses line and circle to express the complex kinship systems in Sandbeach. She takes the complexities and dynamics of everyday life as her inspiration and represents them in a visual abstraction that effectively maintains the essential idea.


  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • ATSIC Collection, Canberra
  • Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra
  • Brisbane Club, Brisbane
  • IES, Brisbane
  • Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
  • Columbus State University, Georgia USA
  • Emerald Shire Council, Emerald, QLD
  • Federal Court of Australia, Brisbane
  • Flinders University, Adelaide
  • Macquarie University, Sydney
  • Monash University, Melbourne
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne
  • Northern Territory University, Darwin
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
  • Queensland Health Rights Commission, Brisbane
  • Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
  • State Library of Queensland, Brisbane
  • The Esk Collection Tasmania
  • The High Court of Australia, Canberra
  • The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane
  • Warrnambool Art Gallery, Victoria
  • Wollongong University, Wollongong
  • International Education Services Brisbane
  • Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Musee de l'art aborigene australien, La Grange, Switzerland
  • Department of Environment and Heritage
  • Georgia State University Collection, USA
  • High Court of Australia, Canberra
  • Kluge-Ruhe Collection, Virginia, USA
  • Macquarie Bank Australia
  • Artbank, Sydney

Awards and Recognition

2011 Top 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2010 Top 50 Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2009 Top 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2004 High Court of Australia, Canberra - High Court Centenary Art Award
2004 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney - Finalist
2003 Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Sydney - Winner
2002 Top 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2001 Top 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2000 The Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award - Lin Onus Youth Award
1999 Momento Awards, Brisbane - Most innovative product by an indigenous artist
1999 Cape York Art Awards Laura Festival - 2nd Prize Works on Paper
1999 Nominated for Young Australian of the Year Arts Section
1998 Member of the Lockhart River Art Gang which won the National Heritage Commission Art of Place Community Endeavour Award
1997 Rena Allen Jones Award Warrnambool Art Gallery Victoria: screenprint selected for acquisition
1997 Arts Queensland - Personal Development Grant


Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2019 Matches 4: Rosella Namok - Sand Scribe, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2019 Large Showroom; Large Works, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2018 Nature's Way, Rosella Namok, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2015 Rosella Namok, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2013 Rosella Namok - Naagchi Ngumu'luugku - I Come from There, Japingka Gallery, Perth

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2020 Across the Top 2020, Art Mob, Hobart
2020 Lockhart Art Gang - Sharing Our Stories, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Across the Top, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 Overcoming Adversity, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 Lunar Legacy, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 Matches 7: Michael Nelson Jagamara - A Shared Space, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2019 Lockhart Legends, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 defining tradition | black + white, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 International Women's Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Defining Tradition | the colurists, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Stories from my heart - Which Way, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 On the Coast - The Art of Fiona Omeenyo & Rosella Namok, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2018 Islands in the Sea, Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Musee de l'art aborigene australien, La Grange, Switzerland
2018 My Country, Salt, Queenscliff, VIC
2018 Fiona Omeenyo & Rosella Namok, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2018 Welcome to Thompson Street, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2017 Lockhart River Mob, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2017 Sand, Salt, Spirit, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2017 A SWEEP continues, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2017 Ngampula Aalkan Nyiiku Maanchima - Mepla: Rise of a new beginning, Art Mob, Hobart
2017 60 Xv30, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2017 Coo-ee Art 35th Anniversary - Return to Oxford Street, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2017 Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2017 Weather Patterns II, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2017 Along the Lines, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2016 Rosella Namok & Lockhart River Painters, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2015 Wynners, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2012 Reunion: New paintings by Samantha Hobson, Rosella Namok and Fiona Omeenyo - Vivien Anderson, Melbourne
2011 Rosella Namok & Arone Meeks, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney