Looking at the vibrancy of Chern’ee Sutton’s artworks, you’d
never guess she was a shy kid at school who had trouble fitting
in. Even back then Sutton showed an interest in art and took it
upon herself to teach other kids how to draw. Then her teacher
encouraged her to enter a local art competition, which she did,
and she won. She was 13. It unleashed a passion in Sutton that
has seen her art capture the attention of politicians and princesses
– yes, she has met the Duchess of Cambridge and presented her
with a painting to hang in Kensington Palace – as well as sports heroes
Sutton, now 20, is inspired by her Indigenous heritage. Her mob is from
the Kalkadoon people of Mt Isa and she lives in Bundaberg where she now paints
“from the moment she gets up to the moment she goes to sleep”, such is the
demand for her work. Painting, Sutton says, made her believe she could achieve
anything, and she often makes time in her busy schedule to visit schools to inspire
others to do the same.
Sutton is an excellent role model. Her work hangs in Parliament House in
Canberra and adorns myriad ‘canvases’ from book covers to footballs and football
jerseys (she has designed the Indigenous All Stars jersey for 2017, the third year in
a row), from water tanks and power poles to corporate boxes. She has painted a
guitar, a car door and once, a six-metre long canoe, often for charity.
Her work has been shown at art fairs in Hong Kong and Singapore and
next year her international reputation is likely to skyrocket when Gold Coast
Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi leaves his footprints in the sand – those
prints will carry subtle messages in Sutton’s designs which also appear on Borobi’s
paw prints and on his surfboard as well as promotional material for the games.
But her latest project is a sweet treat and a first – her designs have been embossed
on chocolate by Gold Coast firm Chocolate Graphics. A selection of Sutton’s
designs have been ‘drawn’ in white chocolate on to milk and dark chocolate bars
and CD-size discs of chocolate, and vice versa on white chocolate bars, now
available at Dreamtime Journey, Brisbane International Terminal, Level 3.
| BNE January/February 2017
When the first annual Brisbane
Global Rugby Tens kicks off on
11 February it will be a fast and
furious two days of competition
as all 10 Australian and New
Zealand Super Rugby clubs face
off against four international
teams, from Samoa, South Africa,
France and Japan, in a knockout
tournament to claim a share in
$1.6 million in prizemoney. It is
the culmination of a festival of
rugby that starts from 5 February
and, in total, 28 matches will be
played over two days heralding
the start of the Super Rugby
season at Suncorp Stadium. Here’s
a 5-minute introduction to one of
the players to watch, Queensland
For more information seewww.brisbaneglobaltens.com/
Tickets from $99 (adult) plus fees seewww.ticketek.com.au
My first game of rugby was …
for Anglican Church
Grammar School (Churchie), East Brisbane.
My sporting hero is …
(American basketball player)
Allen Iverson because he’s tough, unique, skilful and did
things his way.
My toughest opponent on the field is …
anyone over 100kg running full steam ahead.
The team that will be our biggest challenge in the
Brisbane Global Rugby Tens is …
anyone from NZ
because they know how to get it done on the rugby field.
The best thing about living in Brisbane is …
I’m happiest when …
I’m with my family.
Rugby has taught me …
to appreciate being a back, especially at scrum time.
After training I …
jump in the ice bath and check the ESPN app.
My favourite meal out is…
If I wasn’t playing rugby I would be …
a full-time uni student.
When I’m not playing rugby I’m…
with my family or studying.
My favourite travel destination is …
the Cook Islands.
I’ve always dreamed of…
retiring to the Cook Islands!
Photography by Eric Wang