Sun + Water: Noni Cragg interview

sun and water

Artist Noni Cragg launches a new exhibition in Sydney this October, which explores dual heritage and identity within today’s society and which celebrates a crossing over of cultures, expressing Aboriginality being defined by a culture not a colour. Bobby Townsend finds out more:

Hello Noni! You are just about to launch your new show, Sun + Water. Can you tell us a little about what to expect from it?
Hello! Well I guess the best description I could give the show is a “sensory experience” but you’ll have to go on the night to find out what I mean.

What’s your thinking behind the show? Where did the initial idea come from and what do you hope people take away from it?
Initially I just wanted to paint portraits as I enjoy the process of painting so much but I also wanted use this medium as a means to combat the invisibility and stigmatisation of the Indigenous Community within Australia. I hope to demonstrate that the subjects and wider Aboriginal Community have a place and value within society. That we matter. I hope my show may assist in the removal of negative attitudes in place of openness, understanding and discussion as well as recognition.

Noni Cragg Studio Noni Cragg studio

How are preparations going? Are you spending long days in the studio?
I have been spending some long-haul days in the studio (pictured, above), but I have been enjoying them so much despite early starts and late finish times. It feels worth it just because of how much I am enjoying myself.

When can we come and check the show out?
The show is Wednesday 22nd October 6pm at the Tate Gallery. The Tate is an art space, which supports local and international artists by offering exhibitions within a weekly program and studio spaces free of charge. I hope so see some friendly faces on the night, come on down to 345 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, Sydney.

Noni CraggDo you have any other art projects planned for the rest of the year or for 2015?
I mostly have travel plans for 2015, some rad coastal road trips here at home, but I have already started making arrangements for Summer 2015 to be spent with my partner in the US catching up with all the legends we met there last Summer.

Ah yes, you wrote an article for Something You Said about your travels in the US. So you’re heading back over there next year? That’s exciting! 
Yes! I can’t wait to get back there again for Summer 2015, but if any other travel opportunities arise I’ll probably want to jump on those too. There are too many bowls in Colorado that need to say hello to me and my skateboard again. Especially Arvada.

As well as being an artist, you’re also a model, of course. How is your modelling going? Have you worked on anything cool lately?
That aspect of my life has been very cruisey and enjoyable. I was recently fortunate enough to work with some legends on the new summer campaign for Globe brand. Two days of drinking tinnies, jumping off cliffs into the ocean and bombing hills on some pretty prime skateboards provided by Globe was a very killer way to make some dollars.

What are you going to do now you’ve finished this interview?
I’m still painting! So back to that and a good film to relax with afterwards.

Sun + waterNoni Cragg StudioSun + Water

Further details of the exhibition, which is on Wednesday 22nd October 6pm at the Tate Gallery in Glebe. can be found here.



Interview by Bobby Townsend. Photos by Bobby and Noni.