By Chern’ee Sutton
Age – 21 years
Size – 30cm wide X 183cm high
Medium – 3D Glow Acrylic and textured acrylic on canvas
My name is Chern’ee Sutton and I am a contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from Mount Isa in Queensland. This painting is called “Kali’s Ritjinguthinha” in the Kalkadoon language which means “Butterfly Dreaming” and this is my interpretation of her life’s journey.
Long, long ago there lived a caterpillar that was very plain and ordinary looking who had no purpose in life. All the other animals laughed at how ugly and insignificant Kali was as she went through life eating and sleeping and serving no purpose at all but to fill her belly.
One night when Kali was trying to go to sleep she wished to have a purpose and meaning in life, she was tired of everyone laughing at her and wanted to be different. When she finally fell asleep the spirit of Mother Nature spoke to her in her dreams. Kali I have heard your cries for help but before I grant you your wish you must promise to do something for me that might put you in danger and cost you your life. Kali still asleep wanting so badly to serve some purpose in life agreed to Mother Nature that she would do anything that was asked of her. Kali said mother nature’s spirit, I want you to be the sign of life for all living creatures so I will grant you the power of change and when you awake in the morning you must start to build a new home for yourself then go to sleep and not awaken until I call you and then you will never be laughed at again.
When Kali awoke in the morning she remembered the dream and began to make a new home out of silk and once finished she crawled inside and went to sleep again. Many months passed and in her dreams Kali was tired of waiting but remembered her promise to Mother Nature and so continued to wait. The months turned into years and finally Mother Nature’s spirit again spoke to Kali “awake Kali for now you are the sign of life”.
Kali awoke and began to break free from her cocoon and once she had, she was shocked to see that her change was complete and she was now a beautiful butterfly. When all the other animals saw this new creature they asked “you are so beautiful with your bright colours but what purpose do you serve”. Kali told them that she was the sign of life for all living things and while they could see her they themselves would live.
To this day Kali is the sign of life for all living creatures and if you can’t see her Mother Nature is sick.