Kunyi June Anne McInerney: My Paintings Speak For Me

Kunyi June Anne McInerney, Sunday Service, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 61×91 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

In this exhibition, South Australian artist Kunyi June Anne McInerney draws upon childhood experiences as a member of the Stolen Generation in the Oodnadatta Children’s Home during the 1950’s. Kunyi’s vibrant use of colour, facial expression, and depiction of landscape document her memories and reflect on the strict life with other mission kids who became her only family. Kunyi’s paintings and stories reveal an often-invisible part of Australian history.

In the artist’s words, Kunyi says “these are my stories from a dry remote place where my experiences were so different from what Australian children know today. I want to tell my story, so they don’t ever do it again. They took away my family, my culture and who I could have been. These are not fairy tales, they are true. I want people to understand what happened. Painting is the best way for me to tell my stories.”

My Paintings Speak For Me is a sensitive exploration of the experiences of cultural loss, separation from family, and finding fun times amongst hardship.