Lorna Shuan

I was born in 1965 at the Mossman Hospital and grew up in the Mossman Gorge Community with all my family. I am a traditional custodian for the Kubirri Warra area.

In 2008 I completed my Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts. I was part of a group mural project at the Mossman Community Centre and I have also created logo designs.

I enjoy painting, screen printing, jewellery making, ceramics and drawing. Selecting colours is important to me when I’m painting. I like bright colours - for me they bring out more and make me happy. My family and community motivate me to create art. It is important to follow your passion, heart and dreams and to share your talents. It is important to leave a legacy behind for your family and grandchildren, to help them feel proud and show that you are doing something that makes you happy and helps others. I always like to help others, the responsibility makes me feel strong. I really enjoy helping younger artists and anyone else who needs my help.

The rainforest is big part of my world, it gives me inspiration in my painting. Mostly I enjoy painting birds. They represent my totems and spiritual messages, and remind me of my family. The Cockatoo and Cassowary are my totems. The Kuranji Cassowary is the Madja Boss. When I paint Kuranji I have a connection to the rainforest. He looks after the land, cultivating the land and has lovely natural colour. He is the leader of all birds in the rainforest. Parrot’s rainbow colours make me feel happy and think about family that have passed.

My paintings are connected with traditional ways, connected to the ancestors and my family, especially my grandmother and my grandfather, they give me life and strength.