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Colour Confidence

Dec 7, 2021

We’re revisiting some articles from this year’s Art Collector DAAF 2021 Special Edition.


Vibrant patterns over dark backgrounds make the colours in Cassaria Young Hogan’s paintings sing.

Words by Louise Martin-Chew, July 2021

Excitement is building at Ninuku Arts, with collectors and curators hungry for the work of their latest rising star, 24-year-old Cassaria Young Hogan. Through her powerful paintings, Young Hogan relates stories of her life in the Kalka community, living at her grandfather Stanley Young’s house with family, and about her experiences going out on bush trips. Her works are rendered in vibrant, fluorescent colours and show incredible confidence for a young artist who has been making work for little over a year. 

Young Hogan hails from a family with a strong history of cultural and artistic authority in South and Western Australia.

“She has lived in Pipalyatjara most of her life, but spends lots of time travelling between different Western Desert communities,” says Ninuku Arts Manager Mandi King.

Her tjamu (grandfather) Stanley Young is a renowned painter, cultural leader and camel herder in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Artist Carol Young is her aunt. Her father is Tim Hogan, a significant artist from Spinifex in Tjuntjuntjara.

Image | Cassaria Young, Ngyarini (Thorny Devil), 2021. Photo courtest of  Ninuku Arts

Banner Image| Artist Cassaria Young in the Kalka community. Photo courtest of Cassaria Young

With such artistic blood, it’s little surprise that Young Hogan was drawn to the Art Centre from a very young age. “She would get some of the kids’ paint and doodle on scrap canvas for fun; then we saw what she was making and began encouraging her to take art seriously,” says King.

“Everyone was really responding to her painting style and the stories about her bush trips and animals around community. We could tell she would have a lot of success.”

Young Hogan has a unique and chaotic approach to her work, paired with a uniquely wild finesse that brings her characters to life. There is a growing audience for her work, which has happened very fast.

“It is good both for Ninuku to have fresh young energy in the studio,” notes King, “as well as for Cassaria, who is non-verbal and now has an outlet for expressing herself and for contributing to the Art Centre her family helped build,” says King.

The other unique aspect of Young Hogan’s work is that it tells the story of everyday life in Pipalyatjara – while other Ninuku artists tend to paint more traditional stories and patterns. Her dynamic work was first seen at the exhibition Our Mob in Adelaide in 2019, and has since been in seven group exhibitions throughout Australia in 2019 and 2020, including Yaltji Ngurru Ngana munu Yaljti kutu ngana ananyi: Where we come from and Where we are going at Sabbia Gallery in Sydney. Notably, right before the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Young Hogan was featured in the group exhibition Motuku, Tali, Puli, Kala at APY Gallery in Adelaide.

Above | Cassaria Young, Stanley-Ku Wali (Stanley’s House), 2021. Photo courtesy of Cassaria Young and Ninuku Arts

See more from Cassaria Young Hogan and Ninuku Arts HERE

This article originally appeared in the Art Collector 2021 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Special Edition, head here to read more.

Cover Art by Madeline Purdie, Boabs After the Fire. Natural earth pigments and synthetic fixative on canvas, 60 x 60cm. Courtesy of the artist and Warmun Arts.

Contributor Louise Martin-Chew is a freelance arts writer and arts historian.

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