Charlotte, known as Penny, was born in Orbost and now resides in Bairnsdale. Penny is the daughter of Jimmy Hood and Ivy Moore but grew up with her grandparents Amy and Julian (Dingo) Hood. She is a proud Kurnai woman, strong in her culture, as is evident in her art, and was a participant in the Koorie Business Networks 2006 Tribal Expressions project. This project was organised to showcase Aboriginal art and cultural businesses for Melbourne’s 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Penny is influenced by her cultural heritage, her memories and critical events. A prolific artist, it is not unusual for Penny to work through out the night especially after returning from visits with her Aunty who inspires her with stories from the old days. Penny reminisces: ' It’s good to remember when life was fun '.
Through an eclectic mix of styles, the telling of stories is a common theme in Penny’s work. Penny enjoys experimenting with different ways to share the stories she carries in her mind, memory, heart and soul.
Her paintings and wood burnings typically include cultural symbols such as shields, boomerangs, baskets and the (Gunai) Kurnai totem – the Blue Wren. Scenes from the Lake Tyers mission and from the early years, with family themes are also common. Some works, such as those of old and young fellas sitting by river banks, peacefully co-existing with various animals and plants, are whimsical and bring a sense of calm to both artist and viewer.
At other times Penny can produce confrontational political work that creates a visual statement about issues such as racism, injustice and inequality. Penny is moved by current events such as issues affecting her people and the recent fires and floods that have plagued (Gunai) Kurnai land in East Gippsland.
Penny has a Diploma in Visual Arts from the East Gippsland Institute of TAFE. Her work has featured on various brochures, advertising material, invitations and gift cards. Penny has exhibited widely through EGAAC and had her first solo exhibition in 2007.
Penny says she doesn’t want to be a famous artist. Just to be known locally and gain the respect of her family and friends is enough. Penny is a generous spirit who readily shares of her life, culture and self through her art work.
East Gippsland Aboriginal Arts Corporation, VIC