Rosella Namok

Rosella Namok

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DOB: 1979
Born: Lockhart River QLD
Language: Aangkum (Ungkun)
Region: Eastern Cape York Peninsula

Born in 1979, Rosella Namok 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.


  • 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
  • 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 Centenary Art Award, High Court of Australia, Canberra
2003 Winner of the Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Sydney
2002 Top 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2001 Top 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2000 Lin Onus Youth Award, The Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award
1999 Most innovative product by an indigenous artist, Momento Awards, Brisbane
1999 Works on Paper (Second Prize) Cape York Art Awards Laura Festival
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 - Personal Development Grant Arts Queensland


Selected Group Exhibitions:

2019 Across the Top, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 Overcoming Adversity, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 Lunar Legacy, Art Mob, Hobart
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 Fiona Omeenyo & Rosella Namok, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2017 Lockhart River Mob, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2015 Wynners, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney

Blog Post :: Kate Owen Gallery :: March 2017

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.

Rosella's works are currently held in private and public collections both nationally and internationally including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA and Columbus State University, Georgia, USA.