A Modern Aboriginal Artist - Chern'ee Sutton
Chern'ee entered her first art competition at 13 years of age and won first place in the open category and has been painting madly ever since exhibiting her artworks at Queensland's Parliament House and selling to collectors from around the world all whilst still at school.
Now at 23 years of age, a few of the highlights of Chern'ee's career are below.
- Guest speaker at the official launch of the Australian Defence Force’s new Reconciliation Action Plan which features my artwork at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
- Guest speaker at the official launch of The Australian Public Service Commissions new Reconciliation Action Plan which features my artwork at The National Library in Canberra.
- Exhibition of paintings on permanent display at the Pullman and Mercure hotels King George Square Brisbane.
Combined exhibition with my sister Brooke Sutton of 30 paintings across 5 corporate buildings in Brisbane.
Australia Day Ambassador for the Boulia Shire Council.
- Painted and donated a Sherrin AFL football to the Adam Goodes and Mick O’Loughlin’s GO Foundation for a fundraiser to auction the ball to raise funds to provide education scholarships for Indigenous children.
Paintings acquired by Queensland Teachers Union Trustees for their G.A. Daughtrey Art Bequest Collection for 2019.
- Selected as 1 0f 50 of Bundabergs most influential Power People, this year I ranked number 27 which was 8 places up from last year.
- Unveiled a commissioned painting at the Department of Veteran Affairs office in Canberra where I explained the significance and story behind the piece. The painting celebrated the Department of Veteran Affairs Diversity Strategy and was launched on Close the Gap Day and Harmony Day.
- Attended the 2019 Queensland Premiers Reconciliation Awards where Queensland Tourism Industry Council was announced as a finalist for the Indigenous Champions Network of which I am a part of.
- Officially unveiled 2 new police cars in Woorabinda with my sister Brooke Sutton. Brooke and myself held a painting workshop with Wadja Wadja high School Students last year and the artworks were then made into vinyl wraps for the 2 new police cars.
- Artwork exhibited at Childers Art Space
- Presented a hand painted 3D and highly textured cricket bat to the Blind Australian Cricket team and also launched an art exhibition for the Blind Australian Cricket team with highly textured 3D resin plaques at The Queensland National Cricket Centre in Brisbane for their training camp.
- Paintings exhibited with Umi Arts at the Freshwater, saltwater exhibition at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.
- Attended Government House to Celebrate the Launch of NAIDOC Week.
- Artwork exhibited at the Queensland Tourism Industry Councils NAIDOC Week corporate breakfast.
- Combined exhibition with my sister Brooke of 40 paintings at the Mount Isa City Art Gallery for 3 months.
- Guest speaker and panel member at the Destination Queensland forum on the Young Emerging Tourism Panel.
- Paintings and totem poles exhibited at the QTIC Destination Indigenous Queensland forum on the Sunshine Coast.
- Officially unveiled my 9-metre painting called “Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha” which means “Long ago, Today, Tomorrow in the Kalkadoon language at The National Royal Australian Mint in Canberra. The painting was completed at a residency in the Athletes Village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Athletes and dignitaries from around the world placed their fingerprints on the painting. Dignitaries included His Royal Highness Charles Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness Prince Edward Earl of Wessex and City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. The exhibition will run for the next six months at the mint.
- Paintings exhibited at London's Batter sea Park at the Affordable Art Fair in England.
- Announced as ETB Travel News Brand Ambassador across Australia, Asia, New Zealand, Americas, Europe, India, Middle East and Africa.
- Guest speaker at the James Cook University “Are you remotely interested conference” in Mount Isa where I unveiled a painting that was commissioned by JCU and the painting will form the banner of a new web page for JCU’s generalist medical training site which is a new online initiative to help close the gap.
- I was a guest speaker at the Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s corporate NAIDOC breakfast in Brisbane.
- City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate handed over one of my paintings to His Royal Highness Charles Prince of Wales as a gift from the City of Gold Coast. The painting is the second of my paintings to hang in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace.
- Artist in residence in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village where I painted a 9-metre painting with the athletes and dignitaries contributing their fingerprints for two weeks during the Commonwealth Games.
- I was selected by Bundaberg Regional Council to be a baton bearer for Bundaberg and ran the Queens Baton down the main street of Bundaberg.
- Officially opened my exhibition of 40 paintings at the Gold Coast Broadbeach Sofitel Hotel. The exhibition runs for 5 weeks and for the duration of the Commonwealth Games.
- My 14-metre painting called “Journey to Gold” with the 20,000 volunteer fingerprints is unveiled in the Commonwealth Games Village where it is on display for the duration of the Games.
- Commissioned by Commonwealth Games Australia to supply 2 bark paintings for gifts to the 2 Co-Mayors of the Commonwealth Games Village from the 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games Team.
- Australia Day Ambassador in Charters Towers for their Australia Day celebrations.
- Official opening of my exhibition at the Pullman and Mecure hotels, King George Square Brisbane.
- Artist in residence at the 2017 Defence Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network Conference where I created an interactive art piece for the Australian Defence Force. I was also a guest speaker and the commissioned artwork will be used for the Australian Defence Force RAP, stationary, directorate merchandise etc.
- Spent 5 days on the Gold Coast finishing off the large 14 metre painting called “Journey to Gold” at the Commonwealth Games Volunteer centre. In total there are over 20,000 volunteer and dignitaries’ fingerprints on the painting which will be displayed at the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village during the Games.
- Attended Queensland Government House to celebrate Queensland’s Arts and Cultural Community with His Excellency the Honorable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland.
- Attended a reception in Bundaberg to welcome the His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove.
- Participated in The Long Walk with Michael Long and walked on field around the MCG. Watched the Dreamtime at the G AFL game with Essendon wearing my Guernsey design. My artwork was also displayed on LED signage around the stadium.
- Paintings exhibited in an art show in Hong Kong for 3 days with Aboriginal Art Galleries.
- My artwork was used by the NRL on all referee’s jerseys for the Indigenous round weekend.
- Paintings exhibited in an art show in Hamstead, London England with Aboriginal Art Galleries.
- Artwork used for the Queensland Writers Centre book which is being published in September and features my artwork on the front and back covers as well as throughout the book.
- Attended the Queensland Young Achiever Awards for 2017 where I won the Kennelly Constructions “Aboriginal Achievement Award”.
- Attended the opening of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Volunteer selection centre. I have painted a 9 metre painting which tells the story of Australia and the Commonwealth Games. Dignitaries placed their fingerprints on the painting and the 24,000 volunteers will also place their fingerprints on the artwork. During the Commonwealth Games the painting will hang in the Athletes village.
- Guest speaker at Elliott Heads ANZAC Day event where I read my poem “Dreamtime Soldier” as a tribute to the black diggers that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
- Started painting a local Dreamtime story from the Taribelang Bunda people in Bundaberg in conjunction with Bundaberg Police and “Kids at Risk”. The mural took 6 weeks to complete at a local shopping centre with the idea behind the project to bring the whole community together.
- Attended the NRL’s All Stars Game in the corporate box where my artwork was used on tablecloths, screens, poles, bars, footballs, Indigenous All Stars Merchandise etc and also on the men’s and women’s Indigenous All Stars Jerseys.
- I painted the centrepiece of an 8 square metre canvas and then had the National Rugby Leagues World All Stars Squad and the Indigenous All Stars Squad all place their handprints and signatures around the centrepiece. The artwork was sold and the $5,000.00 was donated to the Preston Campbell Foundation.
- Held a painting workshop with 64 students at Newcastle University for the National Rugby Leagues 2017 Youth Summit.
- Australia Day ambassador at Wandoan Australia Day celebrations for 2017.
- Story published in Brisbane Airports Insider Magazine about myself and my chocolate range that is for sale at all major Australian airports.
- Attended the launch of the NRL’s Indigenous All Stars Jerseys for 2017. This is the 3rd time I have designed the mens and womens Indigenous All Stars jerseys and my painting called Thaamu, Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha has been used for all official NRL Indigenous All Stars merchandise.
- Artist in residence at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast painting a memorial with the Dreamworld staff and guests for the 4 lives lost on the Thunder River Rapids ride.
- Paintings displayed and sold in an art exhibition in Singapore.
- Attended Queensland Government House for a luncheon function with his Excellency The Governor General to celebrate Queenslands visual artists, I was one of 12 artists invited.
- Key note speaker at the Queensland Tourism Industry Councils “Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum” in Brisbane.
- Artwork used for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Forerunners T-shirts.
- First range of Chern’ee Sutton Originals chocolates released in all Australia Way stores.
- Attended the official launch of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Mascot Borobi at Burleigh Heads Beach. Borobi the koala features my artwork and story of the Commonwealth Games on his paws and feet and my artwork is also used in his name, on his surfboard as well as advertising signage.
- Selected as one of Queenslands Advance Queensland Community Digital Champions for the information on my website and promoting Queensland and myself through several social media platforms.
- Attended the NRL’s All Stars Game in the corporate box where my painting was exhibited along with my artwork being used on banners, screens, lights, poles and tablecloths. The men’s and women’s teams used my jersey designs as well as the new Indigenous All Stars Logo’s.
- Filmed a Juiced TV segment at the Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital. I painted the centrepiece of a painting and then had the children place their handprints around the painting which I then donated to the hospital.
- Guest speaker at the NRL’s Youth Summit where I also held a painting workshop with 59 children from the Youth Summit.
- Artwork designs used for the Indigenous All Stars Deadly Choices Health Campaign T-Shirts.
- Australia Day Ambassador at Muttaburra and Barcaldine Australia Day Celebrations handing out Australia Day Awards and participating in Australia day Activities.
- Designed the Indigenous headgear for Madison Sports for the 2016 season.
- Selected by Triple J radio station as 1 of 25 under 25’s across Australia for being one of Australia’s most extraordinary people under 25.
- Indigenous artwork designs used in the logo for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
- Paintings exhibited by Aboriginal Art Galleries at the Affordable Art Show in Singapore.
- Artist in residence at Dreamworlds Coroborree exhibition painting a 15ft canoe, guests at the Yugambeh Jarla that night placed their thumb prints on the canoe. The canoe is being donated by myself and Dreamworld to an Indigenous charity which will be decided at a later date.
- Officially handed over a reconciliation painting to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (GOLDOC) at the opening of their new office. Dignitaries placed their handprints on the painting on the day, the painting now hangs in the 2018 Commonwealth Games offices.
- Guest speaker and handed out prizes at Bundamba Primary School who won the major prize for the ARTIE Reconciliation Challenge, also painted a large painting with 500 students as part of the first prize.
- Artwork used for F.O.G.S. 2015 to 2017 Reconciliation Action Plan.
- Invited to the official launch of the NRL’s Indigenous round at Suncorp Stadium. The referee’s for the first time ever in the Indigenous round will wear jerseys with my designs on them.
- Attended the NRL’s All Stars Game in the corporate box where my painting was exhibited along with my artwork being used on banners, screens, lights, poles and tablecloths. I was also interviewed on centre field with my painting “Thapu Wani Watina” by Luke Carrol where I told the story behind my painting.
- Attended the Qld Reconciliation Awards at Qld Parliament House. The painting I painted on Australia Day “All One Country” was raffled off on the night and won by one of the finalists at the awards.
- Artwork used by Darwin Symphony Orchestra for a string quartet piece by Peter Sculthorpe called "Jabiru Dreaming". The artwork is being used in the brochure and the artwork is called Jullen Guh & Tankin.
- Chosen as this year’s “Shining Star” for the front cover of the Maryborough and Bundaberg Districts Yellow and White pages.
- Artist in residence at Reservoir East Primary School in Melbourne painting 3 totem poles for their Indigenous bush garden project as well as being a guest at their Cultural Diversity Day.
- Attended the Australia Day Weekend in Brisbane for four days where I was an Australia Day Ambassador. I was also an Artist in Residence commissioned by the Australia Day Council to paint a reconciliation painting at Southbank called “United Australia”.
- Artist in residence at Silkwood School on the Gold Coast, I painted totem poles with the school children that will be displayed throughout the school as part of their indigenous learning and environment Programs.
- Paintings exhibited and sold by Aboriginal Art Galleries at the Affordable Art Fair in Singapore.
- Mentor for the A.R.T.I.E. program with A.R.T.I.E. students at a special Gold Award Camp for High School Students from Rockhampton, Mount Larcom and Gladstone Schools teaching the children Indigenous painting techniques.
- Attended the Queensland Pride of Australia Awards night where I won the Queensland 2014 Pride of Australia Youth Leader Medal.
- Organised and held a Primary School Reconciliation Art Competition in Mount Isa with 7 Primary schools. The competition was called “Ajarku Muruu’ All One Country. 2 large installation art pieces were donated to the winning Schools with the children adding their handprints.
- Attended the launch of the Australian Rugby League Commissions Reconciliation Action Plan for 2014 to 2017. The RAP also features my artwork “Thapu Wani Watina” which means “Brothers Playing Side by Side” in the Kalkadoon language. I also painted 3 footballs that were gifts from the NRL to members of the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council that were retiring.
- Artwork featured at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games with Jessica Mauboy singing in front of one of my paintings during the official handover of the Commonwealth Games to the Gold Coast. Artwork and story about myself was also featured in the media guide for the closing ceremony which was sent to all media outlets in the Commonwealth.
- Attended the National NAIDOC Ball on the Gold Coast where I won the National NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award for 2014.
- Exhibition of my artwork displayed at the Queensland Indigenous Lawyers “World Indigenous Congress”. One of my paintings was also used as the logo for the conference.
- Invited by Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC Governor of Queensland and The Honourable Campbell Newman MP Premier of Queensland to attend the QLD State reception for Their Royal Hignesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I attended the luncheon function at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre where I was formally introduced by The Honourable Campbell Newman MP Premier of Queensland as a very talented young artist to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. I also gave the Royal Couple a reconciliation painting of mine from all Australians that is being taken back to England by The Royal Couple.
- Painting and copyright donated to the A.R.T.I.E. program, the painting will hang in the A.R.T.I.E. main office and the design will be used for t-shirts, hats, stationary etc to be given as incentive gifts to the A.R.T.I.E. students.
- Commissioned by Dreamworld to paint 2 large 8Ft paintings that will hang in there Billabong Restaurant.
- Confirmation from Bundaberg Mayor Cr Mal Foreman that I have won the “Junior Creative Australia Day Spirit Award’ for Bundaberg for the second year in a row that will be presented on the 24/1/2014.
- Exhibition at the Australian Open in Melbourne, I was also an artist in residence and painted an installation art piece that the tennis players and celebrities added their handprints to. The large artwork will be on display at Tennis Australia and features the handprints and signatures of players and celebrities including Redfoo, Sloane Stephens, Patrick Rafter, Marinko Matosevic, Marion Bartoli, Henri Leconte, Sara Tomic and Ian Goolagong to name a few.
- Asked by the Bundaberg Regional Council to paint a painting that represented the whole Bundaberg region that they could use in promotional material and products to promote the region to the many tourists that visit Bundaberg each year. The painting was brought and the copyright to the painting was donated to the Bundaberg regional Council.
- Painted a large installation art piece with 1900 indigenous students that are part of the A.R.T.I.E. program as well as the A.R.T.I.E. mentors and celebrities including Tahan from Big Brother and Former Origin Greats Gene Miles and Steve Price at Dreamworlds White Water World for the 2013 Artie Beetson Fun Day. The banner was donated to the A.R.T.I.E. program once completed.
- Artist in residence for two weeks at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. I was commissioned by Dreamworld to paint 8 totem poles in the Dreamworld Corroboree display with the permission of the Kamilaroi elders and the Yugambeh language group.
- Attended the Queensland Australian of the year award ceremony at the Queensland State Library where I was one of 4 finalists in the QLD Young Australian of the Year Awards.
- Awards night at High School where I received a Gold Academic Award, The Legal Studies Subject Award, The Marine Studies Subject Award, A Gold Cultural Award, A service Award and The Senior Excellence in the Arts Award.
- Recognised by Arts Queensland as a “Culture Champion” with my photo and story published on the Culture Champions Wall of Fame for 2013.
- Selected as 1 of 20 National Indigenous Youth leadership Academy students to participate in “Unleashed”. Unleashed is Australia’s first national summit for young change makers. The summit will run for 2 days at the Sydney Opera House.
- Week long residual camp for Queensland Youth Parliament where I wrote and debated several bills in Queensland’s Parliament House.
- Won the Stanza IT “Youth Award” at the Bundaberg Arts Festival.
- Commissioned by Tennis Australia to paint 10 boomerangs that will be used as gifts when the Australian Davis Cup team play against France in 2014.
- Featured artist at the 2013 Artoriginal exhibition held at Brisbane Town Hall. Painting donated as well with all proceeds going to the Safe Sista Foundation. QGC purchased one of my paintings at the exhibition and the artwork will be used for their 2013/14 Christmas cards.
- Handed over 4 commissioned paintings to the Bundaberg Mayor the Honorable Cr Mal Forman that will be taken to China to give as gifts to Nanning’s Mayor. Nanning in China is Bundaberg’s sister city.
- Awarded “Artist of the Year” for Wide Bay NAIDOC week 2013 at the NAIDOC Week ball.
- Official launch of NAIDOC week and the 2013 Deadly Stories campaign at The Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. I have been chosen along with 12 other people to have their Deadly Story displayed on posters, postcards, banners and the internet across Queensland for 2013.
- Official handover of my 4 commissioned paintings to Tennis Australia. The paintings were accepted by Ian Goolagong the national indigenous Tennis Australia coach and Brenda Tierney the inclusion coordinator for Tennis Australia at a ceremony attended by Bundaberg Mayor Cr Mal Foreman and Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett.
- Exhibition at Queensland Parliament House which was part of the Bundaberg Promotion night organised by the Honorable Stephen Bennett MP member for Burnett.
- Artist in residence at the Queensland State Libraries reconciliAction day where I painted an installation art piece with the public that will be hung in the library.
- Won the Queensland Alumina Award at the Captain Cook 1770 Art festival which was 1st place for the best artwork exhibited.
- Featured Artist at the Bluewater Art Festival from the 27th to the 31st March with several paintings sold which includes a painting sold to the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer The Honorable Wayne Swan MP.
- Painting on loan called “Battle Mountain” officially presented to The Honourable Glen Elmes MP who is the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs and the Minister assisting The Premier. The painting has been loaned to The Honourable Minister and now hangs in The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs office in Brisbane.
- Flown down to Sydney to officially present Caritas Australia with two reconciliation paintings that were commissioned and that artistically represent caritas Australia’s commitment to reconciliation. Guest speaker on the day where I explained the meanings behind the two commissioned artworks and spoke about my journey so far.
- Confirmation from Bundaberg Mayor Cr Mal Foreman that I have won the “Junior Creative Australia Day Spirit Award’ for Bundaberg that will be presented on the 25/1/2013.
- Painting displayed and all proceeds donated to the “Artoriginal” Beyond Billabong Foundation Inaugural Indigenous Art Exhibition held in Brisbane, Qld. My painting sold for $3,500.00 and was sold before it was hung and displayed in the exhibition.
- Week long residual camp for Queensland Youth Parliament where I wrote and debated several bills in Queensland’s Parliament House.
- Opening of my exhibition at Gin–Gin Regional Courthouse Gallery called Kalkadoon. It runs from 1/9 until the 31/10/12.
- Exhibition opening at CHARTS Childers Art Gallery and also the launch of my souvenir range of products.
- First and second place at the Rockhampton Show Fine Art competition in the Indigenous open category.
- Reconciliation paintings displayed at Queensland State Libraries Reconciliation Day as well as a slide show of my past artwork and also artist in residence painting on the day. The painting I created on the day was given to “Kuril Dhagun” which is the indigenous knowledge centre in appreciation of the wonderful event that they organised. The painting now hangs in the Queensland State Library.
- First place in the Captain Cook 1770 festival art competition in the open category.
- Official acceptance to YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament for 2012. I have been appointed to represent Qld Indigenous electorates and have been placed on the Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs Committee. As a youth parliamentarian I will be representing the needs of and speaking for the youth of my electorates.
- First stage of “The Young Achievers Program” completed at University of Queensland Grace college campus.
- Some of my artwork designs have been donated to Queensland Indigenous Health and the artwork has been reproduced onto a bus that will travel from the Fraser coast to Longreach and up to Rockhampton.
- Guest speaker at the 2012 Bundaberg Mayoral Chaplaincy Support Raffle.
- Paintings acquired by MMG mines and displayed at the official opening of the Dugald River mine near Mt.Isa, Qld. The paintings are now permanately displayed at the new mine.
- Painting called “Ajarku Maru” – “All One Country” donated to Mr.Speaker and Parliament that is now permanently hanging in Brisbane Parliament House for all Australians to enjoy.
- Exhibition of 17 paintings displayed for sale at Queensland Parliament House in the Annexe Foyer.
- Paintings displayed at Artspoken: Regional Arts and Culture Conference 2011 in Bundaberg.
- Guest speaker opening the “Emerge” exhibition at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.
- Official acceptance to the University of Queensland Young Achievers Program for 2012 and 2013.
- Commissioned by Department of Communities Rockhampton to design their Recognition night award certificates for 2011. Confirmation of a private exhibition at Capricorn Resort Yeppoon, QLD on the presentation night for the awards on 1st September 2011. Also attending as a guest to present the painting that was commissioned for the award certificates.
- Designed the Indigenous jersey for the Indigenous football team at Kepnock State High School
- Designed the Indigenous jersey for the Indigenous football team at Kepnock State High School.
- I auctioned off a painting called “Gindjurra”and poem through the local newspaper for the flood victims of Bundaberg and raised $1,950.00 which was donated to the junior cricket and netball clubs to help the kids get back out and play again.