News and Media Releases
Sowila would like to thank the North West Star and the Ayr Advocate for allowing her to publish these media releases.
Art takes Clark back to roots
By Jasmine Barber
This article was published in the North West Star on Jan 19th. 2014.
MOUNT Isa-based artist Sonja Clark has had a painting selected to enter the prestigious Stanthorpe Art Festival held in late February.
In the hope of claiming more than $20,000 in prize money, 702 pieces were submitted from across the world, and Clark's painting Wandjina in the Rock was among the 145 pieces selected.
Clark, who paints under the name Sowila, was encouraged to enter the competition by the gallery manager, and chose a piece that she was particularly proud of.
‘I paint from stones that I find, and that was the image in the centre of the stone, and it is my earth pieces,’ she said.They are all fine dots, it's all dot work, and I find that they are different and unique and I haven't seen any others like it. I don't want to be like anybody else.’
The location for the festival was especially significant, as Clark tells of her connection to Stanthorpe and surrounding area.
‘Stanthorpe is where my Aboriginal family are, who I have never met,' she said.She discovered her Aboriginal heritage when she was a child and after some research, she found out she had aunts, cousins, and her biological father living in Stanthorpe.‘So for me to enter this comp, and for it to be in Stanthorpe, I thought, that's roots, that's where my grandmother was born', she said.
Having lived in Mount Isa for more than seven years, Clark has an impressive body of work recognised throughout the community including the city council's Art on Zinc project at Buchanan Park, Link-Up Queensland's Sustaining Connections exhibition in 2012, and the biennial Isa Arts competition and the Mount Isa Hospital art project in 2010.
She describes herself as a contemporary indigenous artist.Clark works as an administrations officer, but dreams of returning to full-time artistry.
Clark's work can be viewed at and at Saltwater gallery Port Douglas.
The North West Star - Feb 12 - 2013
Artists to transform Buchanan Park
Five artists from Mount Isa are ready to prime their brushes and pick their paints for the Art on Zinc Project aimed at transforming Buchanan Park’s main entrance.
Mount Isa City Council launched the project in conjunction with Arts Queensland to celebrate Queensland’s most iconic mining town through art.
Local artist Sonja Clark said it was a privilege to work with the council and get her artwork into the community.
‘We are all locals and part of this community, ‘ she said.
‘Now we will become part of the next 90 years of Mt Isa.’
Mrs Clark will join Sheree Blackley, Maria Luff, Barbara Sam and Hannah Illingsworth to create concepts for 40 murals inspired by the town’s 90th birthday and mining, pastoral and community history.
The massive stretch of artwork will run between Xstrata Entertainment Centre and the rodeo arena at Buchanan Park.
Published The North West Star Feb 12, 2013
VIP Wins Hearts
VIP Wins Hearts
British High Commissioner Baroness Valerie Amos may have only been in the city for a three-day visit but she has already mastered the local lingo.
‘I’ve learnt that you’re meant to call it The Isa.’
At Outback at Isa, Mount Isa artist Sonja Clark, also known as Sowila, painted one of the Baroness’ hands gold before adding the hand print to a dot painting to form a ‘spirit hand.’ She then gave the painting to the Baroness as a memento of her time in Mount Isa.
‘I was so very touched by the gifts that I received.’ She said.
‘The artworks are a representation of the artists’ personal journey and experiences and to be given that is so very special. I will frame them and have them hanging to remember my visit here.
Published The North West Star
Fifteen members of the Mount Isa Indigenous community joined together in a Link-Up projects this week. The group painted art as a way of connecting with each other. Participants hoped to find out a little more about their family history by sitting, painting and talking about their past. The Sustaining Connections Project aimed to reunite the stolen generations with their families, culture and communities. Local workshop facilitator Sonja Clarke said she hoped to run more of the workshops during the next few weeks and get the community at Yallambie involved.
Published The North West Star; Emma Cillekens
Mount Isa artists showcased their work at Outback at Isa during the weekend. There were 175 pieces in the Earth, Fire, Wind and Water exhibition from more than 25 painters, sculptures and jewellery makers.
A great deal of time and effort was put in by the artists presenting the exhibition.
Artworks by Sonja Clark will be on show for the next six months at Outback at Isa.
Artist Sonja Clark spent more than 100 hours creating dots with a toothpick and skewer for this piece.
Published North West Star
Art used for connections
Art will be used to link up Indigenous families in Mount Isa next week.
Eight local artists will lead a four-day workshop for any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders wanting to connect with their background through art.
Workshop facilitator Sonja Clark said the connective art project would involve each person creating a canvas which would intertwine with others.
She said project organisers Link Up Aboriginal Corporation and Swinburne University would photograph the Mount Isa artworks, which would become part of a larger Queensland Link Up artwork.
Published The North West Star; Emma Cillekens
Painting her way to success
Former local resident, Sonja Clark is painting her way to success after she was named as a finalist in the Queensland Health hospital project.
The artwork of the indigenous artist was one of four creations to have been chosen to decorate the foyer of the Mount Isa Hospital.
The two metre by one metre piece will display Ms Clark’s interpretation of Lake Moondara using raised 3D pieces and a myriad of different techniques.
Artist painting her way to success by Jane Armitstead, Ayr Advocate Oct 13, 2010
Mount Isa Hospital Art Project