Nestled between Wutunugurra (Epenarra) and Ali Currung, the artists of the tiny community of
Owairtilla (Canteen Creek) are developing their own distinctive style. The work of the Canteen Creek Artists is notable for its bright pallet and frequent use of pastel colours in which figurative renditions of bush tucker, bush medicine and bush flowers feature.
The community’s most active artist, Fiona Corbett, is also an arts worker. An Alywarra elder from
Owairtilla, Fiona’s career began in Utopia where she trained in the art of batik silk printing alongside some of Australia’s most renowned artists including Emily Kngwarreye and Gloria Petyarre. After leaving Utopia, Fiona participated in a Barkly Regional Arts’ painting workshop, and she became more deeply involved in the arts. It was at this point her focus shifted from batik to painting and she became one of the founding members of the local art centre, which she now runs with the support of Barkly Regional Arts.
Fiona’s unhesitant, bold application of paint, eclectic colour and repetitive pattern (also characteristic of the Utopia Artists) continues today. Her vibrant works are distinctive in the Barkly Region. Fiona’s work is thus synonymous with the artist of Canteen Creek, and her unique style has become a key influence on other artists working in the area.