Renowned artist from Merrepen Arts Centre, featured NORTH artist
Image via art link - Photo by Frances Grant
* Note: Keiren has since left Merrepen Arts and now works independently as an artist.
You come from a long line of inspirational artists, what is your earliest memory of creating art?
When I was six, six years old. My mum, aunties and brother were all painting and I was hanging around at the art centre.
Can you tell us about the hand screen-printing process that happens at Merrepen and what it means to have everyone involved?
They use to do it before, but then they stopped. Then we started doing it in 2011 or 2012. They first started along time ago, before I was born. It’s good to have people come together again. I enjoy both printing and painting. We usually print five runs of eight metres per day.
The fishnet is a reoccurring story within your work, we know that it is traditionally used by older women to collect fish and turtles and is hand made by women from Merrepen. What significance does painting the fishnet have to you? Why do you paint the fishnet design?
When I was young I used to go out with my mum, grandma and my great, great grandmother and other older ladies, and I used to watch them getting Merrepen and different colours and then they used to do the fishnet, and I remember when I was kid we used to go to the creek and they used it to get bait fish. Near the community there’s a billabong, but theres a little creek there and we used it to get bait fish or barramundi. That's why I paint the fish net.
If there was one celebrity you would dream of seeing in a fishnet dress or suit, who would this lucky person be?
Maybe the Queen or maybe Barack Obama’s wife.
Interview By: Crystal Thomas
Yerrgi, 2014. The winner of the 'Youth Award' at the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award 2014 is Kieren Karritpul for 'Yerrgi' - Acrylic on cotton.