Sowila - Sonja Clark
Contemporary Indigenous Artist
Sowila grew up in Ayr, North Queensland with her German born mother. Sowila’s Aboriginal father was from the Bundjalung people of Northern NSW.
Sowila grew up knowing she was different – struggling from within she always felt a strong connection to the earth and its elements. It wasn’t until Sowila moved to Mount Isa and reconnected with her aboriginal heritage that she began to explore her spiritual side.
Sowila is a natural self-taught artist who draws her inspiration from her dreaming.
‘Sowila is the name I have given myself – she is my creative side, the one that brings the magic’, Sonja Clark
Unlike other indigenous artists who paint from the stories that have been handed down through many generations, Sowila draws inspiration from Earth and the elements, her strong connection to country.
When Sowila paints she draws on her gift of spirituality, an insight that she believes comes from her aboriginal ancestors.
Sowila’s stone art come from the rocks themselves –she can feel and sense the ancient legends, painting them on canvas is her way of telling that story.
My paintings are an expression from my dreaming. Through spirit I tap into others; feeling and sensing. I listen to the whispers, to the wind, I look for a glint in a rock, a hidden story; by watching and listening I connect spiritually with the Earth and all that comes from within, this is how I capture my art.’
Sowila has exhibited in her hometown of Mount Isa, the Art Mob Gallery in Tasmania, Gecko Gallery in South Australia, Cairns and has exported her paintings throughout the USA, UK, and Europe.
Sowila’s paintings differ from previous generations of indigenous artists; although Sowila uses many of the traditional methods of painting, her art is inspiring and has a dimensional depth which seems to develop a rage of emotional connections with modern culture.
Sowila’s art gives her a sense of peace and allows her to escape to a world that opens her mind, body and soul, and taps directly into her spiritual core.
Sowila paints through spirit a connectiveness to the Earth and everything all around her, a gift she believes handed down to her through her Fathers side, the Bundjalung people in Northern NSW. Sowila finds her art helps her to disconnect form todays world and find a peace in a spiritual place, the place where she draws her creativity from. She quotes “Painting is a part of who I am, helps keep me centred, reminds me of where I’ve come from and allows me to express myself and my heritage my way, I am thankful and blessed to be a descendant of such a wonderful culture.”