Irene’s paintings are inspired by her close connection with local country; they are often emotional responses to the beautiful views and look-outs around Lockhart and her favourite fishing spots. Irene especially enjoys fishing during Salmon season. Irene Namok is the mother of renowned Lockhart River artist Rosella Namok.
I was born on Thursday Island and my grandfather was a church minister at Old Site. I was going to get married but the
man I was going to marry died. I have got six kids. Four boys and two girls but one of my girls died so now I only have
School time I was a good artist and as I grew up I been doing art. I grew up with old ancestors – old grannie boys and old
grannie girls at Old Site.
I been turn 9 years old at old site and we move to new site. As I been with my old ancestors they tell me story and draw
on sand and charcoal for me and they tell me, “grannie girl, one day you become artist and you go around the world
making name for “yumi”, and I still never forget that.
I like to play with the colours that blends and that’s how I get the colours from the brightness of the sun, like morning
sun, midday sun and afternoon sunset. I take it there now and put in on my linen and canvas and plus we got water here
and when the sun rise, it make reflection on the saltwater at sun beach. That’s where I get my inspiration. We get
sunrise everyday in front of beach.
My painting is about land, about culture, ancestor stories from tribals that passing to generations just like I’m speaking
now here in Lockhart. We one big family. What I want is to pass inspiration onto my next generation in years to come,
because we are all in that same circle and plus we got different totems to go with thempla moonlight.
I also paint about my emotions. I paint about the bush fires and the waterholes. I paint the lagoons because we like to
swim in the lagoons. I also paint about meeting times and festival times and meeting places. We dress the kids all up
and paint them all and we sit together and we yarn around the fireplace under the moonlight.
I am happy when they buy my painting. They take my story with them as well and they tell to their family. I even tell
them when they buy my painting to be aware when they go camping, hunting and fishing, stay long way from creek and
river. I tell them that when they go down the creek, they have to check rocks to find if anything in there before they go
in like crocodile or wild pig.
This one now my story.