Sonja Clark (Sowila) is a Contemporary Indigenous Artist who grew up in Ayr, North Queensland with her German born mother. Sowila’s Aboriginal father was from the Bundjalung people of Northern NSW.
Sowila grew up knowing she was different – struggling from within, she always felt a strong connection to the earth and its elements. It wasn’t until Sowila moved to Mount Isa and reconnected with her aboriginal heritage that she began to explore her spiritual side.
Sowila is a natural self-taught artist who draws her inspiration from her dreaming. “Sowila is the name I have given myself – she is my creative side, the one that brings the magic”
Unlike other indigenous artists who paint from the stories that have been handed down through many generations, Sowila draws inspiration from Earth and the elements, her strong connection to country.
“My paintings are an expression from my dreaming. Through spirit I tap into others; feeling and sensing. I listen to the whispers, to the wind, I look for a glint in a rock, a hidden story; by watching and listening I connect spiritually with the Earth and all that comes from within, this is how I capture my art.”
Sowila’s paintings differ from previous generations of indigenous artists; although Sowila uses many of the traditional methods of painting, her art is inspiring and has a dimensional depth which seems to develop a range of emotional connections with modern culture.
Sowila paints through a spirit of connectiveness to the Earth and everything around her, a gift she believes has been handed down to her from her Father’s side, the Bundjalung people in Northern NSW. Sowila finds her art helps her to disconnect form today’s world and find a peace in a spiritual place, the place where she draws her creativity from. She quotes “Painting is a part of who I am, helps keep me centred, reminds me of where I’ve come from and allows me to express myself and my heritage my way, I am thankful and blessed to be a descendant of such a wonderful culture.”
Sowila has exhibited in her hometown of Mount Isa, Tasmania, South Australia, Cairns and Western Australia and has exported her paintings throughout the USA, UK, and Europe.