Born in 1995, hailing from Longreach Queensland, Ethan-james Kotiau is a contemporary aboriginal artist. His paintings draw on his ancestry with the Gunggari and Iningai tribes of central QLD. Ethan began painting in 2018. Seeking inspiration, he visited a desert art exhibition. The work impressed on him how vocal art can be in communicating culture to others. Ethan’s art practice is dedicated to forging a style unique to his 2 ancestral tribes.
In his work he thoughtfully uses traditional elements in a contemporary way, to provoke a feeling of nostalgia and optimism. "I love the simplicity in a lot of the traditional aboriginal art from the past. I keep that principle in my work. I like to keep it simple, not over complicate it too much. I think you see that in my paintings, they aren't loud or violent but subtle and discreet. However, once you look closer there's more to them than meets the eye. That has been my experience of aboriginal culture and our community growing up."
Ethan draws inspiration from his childhood, when his grandmother and elders of the Iningai tribe taught him about their country, culture, and indigenous ways. Ethan now has a deep sense of purpose to share this knowledge and storytelling with his family and people from his country; in doing so sharing bits of his culture with others abroad, too.
You can find more of Ethan's work through:
Kate Owen Gallery (www.kateowengallery.com)
Sketch Collective (sketchcogallery.com.au)
Aboriginal Art Galleries (aboriginalartgalleries.com.au)
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
2021 Finalist Koori Mail Indigenous Art Award, Lismore Regional Gallery
Selected Group Exhibitions
2022 Colours of Country, Ninbella, Bangalow NSW
2022 Perspectives on Country, Ninbella, Bangalow NSW
2021 Beginnings, Back Dock Arts, Brisbane
2020 Home, Bib 'n' Brace Collective, Teneriffe, QLD
2020 Creative Relief, Aurecon Group, Brisbane