FIONA Clarke looked to the heavens for inspiration in her first children’s book in which the main character is a lost little star looking for the way home.
Minkgill Chases the Rainbow incorporates a dozen of her own illustrations and follows earlier artistic shows that have won acclaim at exhibitions across Australia and internationally.
“It’s my story and my paintings,” she told The Standard before the book’s recent Warrnambool launch.
Singer-song writer Shane Howard, in his foreword for the book, described it as “a simple story of finding your way back and finding your place”.
“She is determined to make a better future for Aboriginal and other Australians,” Howard said.
“Fiona focuses on the positive aspects of life and presents this into her writing and her art.”
Clarke, of Warrnambool, worked with another author Claire Jennings on the book for about 18 months.
The story follows a traditional Aboriginal theme of the rainbow serpent, but adds Clarke’s own insight into the importance of identity to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
Minkgill means star in the local Kirrae Whurrong language.
Her late father, Banjo Clarke, was a respected local elder.
“He told me a lot of stories about our people and some of my story reflects that,” she said.
“Minkgill was a falling star who got lost and wanted to find his identity.
“The rainbow serpent helped him out and eventually he found the way home.
“It’s a colourful and bright book to help children realise their wishes can come true.”
Clarke first showed her book to groups of children in workshops in 11 Melbourne childcare centres last October.
It has been released by One Day Hill publishers.