Artist | MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Artist | MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Burrkunda. [2515-L-MM-0807] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Burrkunda

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Burrkunka. [1966-L-MM-0207] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Burrkunka

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Burrkunda. [2161-L-MM-0407] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Burrkunda

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Burrkunda. [2795-L-MM-1107] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Burrkunda

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Rocks. [1914-L-MM-0207] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Rocks

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Rocks. [2060-L-MM-0307] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Rocks

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Rocks. [3016-L-MM-0308] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Rocks

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Rocks. [2792-L-MM-1107] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Rocks

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MAY MOODOONUTHI of Mornington Island Artists. The title is Rocks. [2809-L-MM-1107] (Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen)

MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec)

Rocks

Like many others, May Moodoonuthi was taken from Bentinck Island to Mornington Island by missionaries in the early 1940s. She married Darwin Moodoonuthi (1939 – 1983), who was instrumental in the land rights movement and returning Kaiadilt people to Bentinck Island.

According to anthropologist Penny Johnson who knew May Moodoonuthi since 1982, she was described as an “impressive tracker and an amazing fisher woman and hunter”. She was also a skilled weaver and made fine bags and necklaces.

Inspired by her sister’s painting success, the late Sally Gabori (c. 1924 – 2015), she started painting for Mornington Island Arts in 2005 and was one of the earliest of the new senior women’s painting movement.

May Moodoonuthi’s paintings include the depiction of rocks from her birthplace, Bentinck Island, but mostly she illustrates body markings such as ceremonial body scars or Burrkunda. Her work is distinguished with strong gestural brushstrokes, multi-layered with paint, giving her paintings a rich texture and great depth of perspective.

May Moodoonuthi passed away in 2005, shortly after she started painting, but without a doubt, her work continues to inspire the following generations. Her great-granddaughter, Claudia Moodoonuthi, whom she raised till age seven, is now an aspiring artist influenced by her traditions and connection to country.



Like many others, May Moodoonuthi was taken from Bentinck Island to Mornington Island by missionaries in the early 1940s. She married Darwin Moodoonuthi (1939 – 1983), who was instrumental in the land rights movement and returning Kaiadilt people to Bentinck Island.

According to anthropologist Penny Johnson who knew May Moodoonuthi since 1982, she was described as an “impressive tracker and an amazing fisher woman and hunter”. She was also a skilled weaver and made fine bags and necklaces.

Inspired by her sister’s painting success, the late Sally Gabori (c. 1924 – 2015), she started painting for Mornington Island Arts in 2005 and was one of the earliest of the new senior women’s painting movement.

May Moodoonuthi’s paintings include the depiction of rocks from her birthplace, Bentinck Island, but mostly she illustrates body markings such as ceremonial body scars or Burrkunda. Her work is distinguished with strong gestural brushstrokes, multi-layered with paint, giving her paintings a rich texture and great depth of perspective.

May Moodoonuthi passed away in 2005, shortly after she started painting, but without a doubt, her work continues to inspire the following generations. Her great-granddaughter, Claudia Moodoonuthi, whom she raised till age seven, is now an aspiring artist influenced by her traditions and connection to country.



Exhibitions that MAY MOODOONUTHI (dec) has exhibited at

Dibirdibi Country Revisited – Celebrating Mrs…

A Collection of Fine Mornington Island Indigenous …


The Art of Aboriginal Australia - NUS Alumni …

A Collection of Fine Aboriginal Art


New Year, New Home – Stock Room Show 2010

A Collection of Fine Australian Indigenous Art


Ngalla marraaju wuuju dulka kilwanmaruthu/we’…

A Collection of Fine Mornington Island Aboriginal …