Aboriginal artist of the Kirrae Whurrong Clan of the Western District of Victoria
1963 Born in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia to Banjo Clarke (dec) and Audrey Couzens (dec)
1993 Completed Diploma of Studio Textiles at Warrnambool South West TAFE
1993-94 Portrait painted by renowned portrait artist Brian Dunlop Painting “Sundown, Sunrise” exhibited in NGV as part of ‘We Iri – We Homeborn” Victorian Indigenous exhibition
1997 Held first solo exhibition ‘My Gunditjmara Land’ at Warrnambool Art Gallery “Summer Exhibition” (a group exhibition) at Libby Edwards Gallery, South Yarra, Melbourne
1998 Painted stage mural for,’Tree of Understanding’ performance, Port Fairy Folk Festival in collaboration with artist Ken McKean Tutored Aboriginal students in Aboriginal Art creation and production, Warrnambool South West Institute of TAFE. Reconciliation Mural, Ozone Car Park, For Youth Week, Warrnambool City Council
1999 The Age’s Artstate “Conflux,” Curated by Maudie Palmer, WAG
2001 First Solo exhibition in Melbourne, “Facing the Past, Looking to the future,” Mira Fine Art Gallery. Also first exhibition of tapestries
2002 First major commissioned work. Worked with renowned New Zealand Artist Chris Booth on his sculpture ‘Strata,’ Axa Plaza, Little Collins St, Melbourne
2003-4 Second major commission by City of Melbourne to complete the sculpture “Eel Trap” for the Birrarung Marr Park in collaboration with Ken McKean
2003-4 Awarded Special Development Grant of $10,000 to work as artist-in-residence at internationally renowned Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
2005 Invited to exhibit in the George Lance Gallery, Warrnambool Art Gallery, (exhibition titled “Traps, Tracks and Tucker”) Invited to exhibit “Traps, Tracks and Tucker” in the Birrarung Gallery, Bunjilaka Museum, Melbourne Museum Invited to exhibit ‘Traps, Tracks and Tucker’ in the main foyer of Royal Women’s Hospital
2006 Awarded Arts Development Grant of $10,000, City of Melbourne
2008 Completed Eel Story floor engravement for Brophy’s Youth Complex in collaboration with Kate Gane Completed Sculpture for Brophy Youth Complex in collaboration with Patrick Tonks Completed Indigenous design for signage in collaboration with Vicki Couzens, for Camperdown’s ‘Reconciliation Park’
2011 Completed Advanced Diploma of Art and Design, Warrnambool South West Institute of TAFE
2011 – 2012 First Published Aboriginal Children’s Book, Written and Illustrated by Fiona Clarke, ‘Minkgill Chases the Rainbow’. Published by OneDayHill.
2012 Series of Storytelling workshops with 15 Child Care Centres across Melbourne
2014 Storytelling Workshops in Warrnambool kindergartens and Child Care Centres Aboriginal Story Poles for Warrnambool College in collaboration with Secondary Students and Bronwyn Ferguson Successful Funding Application of $10,000 from City of Melbourne for Minkgill Storytelling Workshops at Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival
2014 ‘Minkgill Chases the Rainbow’ children’s storytelling workshops. Melbourne Indigenous Festival, City of Melbourne Libraries ‘Ngatanwarr’Mural, (in collaboration with Bronwyn Ferguson), Entrance to Warrnambool College,
2015 Completed ‘public art project, ‘Koontapool, The Blue Mother Whale’, a collaboration with artist Kate Gane, Commissioned by Warrnambool City Council Completed wall mural in collaboration with Ken McKean for Colac Otway Community Centre.
2016 Launched the Port Fairy Folk Festival with a Welcome to Country speech. Commissioned to do a major artwork for the South West Health Care Cancer Centre. Completed Mural in Collaboration with Patricia Clarke and Ken McKean for Koorie Court, Justice Department Artwork chosen for 150th year celebration of first Aboriginal Cricket Walkabout Team to tour England and play on MCG, Cricket Australia, Fiona is direct descendant of original player James Couzens, (‘Mosquito’) who is her Great, Great Grandfather. Snipe Project Port Fairy. Public artwork in bluestone for Moyne Shire, including interactive workshops with Consolidated Primary School, Port fairy. Banjo Clarke Mural in collaboration with Tricia McKean for DHHS meeting room Warrnambool
2017 Port Fairy Folk Festival, Artworks and a presentation of my children’s book, ‘Minkgill Chases the Rainbow’ for the opening of 2017 Port Fairy Folk Festival. Commissioned by Corrangamite Health to create artworks for Terang Hospital and two health clinics. ‘Bonds in Art’ exhibition with emerging young artist Patricia McKean, Scope Galleries, Warrnambool, Commissioned by South West Health Care to create a mural for SWHC Indigenous Mental Health Unit. Commissioned by City of Warrnambool and Warrnambool Art Gallery to complete Aboriginal designs for Gobo lights as part of the redevelopment of Warrnambool CBD, (Current) ‘An Ever Present Universe’ an exhibition by invitation at Warrnambool Art Gallery to exhibit past and present works, (including Warrnambool Gobo Lights project. (from November 2017 until April 2018). WAG purchased major tapestry, ‘Talking Tucker’ for their collection, (a large 1.5m by 1.2 m tapestry created while completing an Artist in Residence at the Australian Tapestry Workshop in 2003).
2018 Painted stumps for Cricket Australia to be used by men’s and women’s cricket teams during 150-year celebration tour through England. Aboriginal Mural, Commissioned by the Newport Early Childhood Centre Shortlisted for Sunvale Community Park Sculpture Project, Brimbank City Council
2019 Selected to design artwork for 5 train station forecourt upgrades, (in collaboration with Kenneth McKean), Ballarat Train Line, Rail Projects, Vline. Shortlisted for Metro Trains High Capacity First Peoples Commission ‘Of the Land and Environment’ Exhibited at Hunt Club Community Arts Centre Gallery, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park. Invited to hold solo exhibition, ‘Wise Ways and Inspiration’ at Alliance Francaise.