Only in 2018 was the year that Sheryl began her artistic career. “I’d never painted before. I really enjoy painting at the Wik & Kugu Arts Centre’s Akay Koo’oila Women’s Studio” says Sheryl. Her grandfather was also a well known painter from Aurukun and it was in a Toowoomba art gallery that Sheryl came across his work for the first time which inspired her to pick up the paint brush. 

Sheryl paints with great detail and has an eye for design and composition. She loves to paint her Apalech Clan stories including the Blue Tongue Lizard, Taipan and Shooting Star. Sheryl has been practicing with natural ochres over the past 12 months and has begun developing a strong body of work for upcoming exhibitions around the country.

I was born and raised in Aurukun. After completing year 8 at Aurukun State school, I went to Presbyterian Girls College in Warwick outside of Brisbane. I worked at the hospital in Aurukun doing the laundry, at the Take-Away shop of the old Aurukun store and worked later  as a cleaning lady for CDEP. 

I have got a younger sister who now lives in Cairns. I have one son, Troy fathered by my partner, Gavin.

In 2018, I started with my artwork. I’d never painted before. I really enjoy to paint in the Akay Koo’olia Women’s Space and I would like to keep going and see my my paintings in exhibitions. My grandfather was a painter. One day when I was still at school, we went on an excursion to Toowoomba, I saw my grandfather’s name on a painting in an Art Gallery. That is when I thought to myself that I would like to become a painter.

In my paintings I often tell stories about my totems, such as the Blue Tongue Lizard and Taipan. They to belong to my father’s country. I also have other totems from my father, the Barramundi, Flying-Fox, Rainbow Lorikeet and the Rainbow itself.

Exhibition History

2017 CIAF 2017 presents: Ngan Wanch Aurukunam Aak Puul Nganttam Yumpanan (We are Aurukun women making the stories of our Country), KickArts Contemporary, Cairns QLD