Frothing on the works of Indigenous artist and pro surfer Otis Hope Carey

Otis Hope Carey is an Indigenous artist and professional surfer from Coffs Harbour. His paintings, which are bold yet calming and deeply informed by the history and culture of his people, have been making some serious waves in the art realms in the last couple of years. His peaceful works are primarily inspired by his feelings, delving deep and understanding his emotions. When he makes work he also thinks about his peoples’ country around Coffs Harbour, his family, and a general push to make his people proud. That’s a humble, tranquil vibe we can get behind.

Otis hasn’t always been an artist. He’s been surfing for as long as he can remember, with the ocean housing a sacred place of freedom, therapy and healing. Looking for a new way to express himself, Otis decided to give painting a go, and it just happened to do the trick. He now finds himself juggling his surfing and art career commitments after the success of his first solo show, NGURAALAMI at China Heights Gallery in Surry Hills. Using monochromes and shades of dark, ochre-y reds, the works in the show explored the healing of his family after the passing of his grandmother.

Otis has said that his main motivation is to share his culture in the most gentle, loving way possible with as many people as possible. He paints as a way to access a state of calm and deep feeling, translating those feelings and stories onto a canvas. We really think he’s succeeded, with his work speaking and connecting with so many people, crossing cultures and backgrounds, on a deeper, emotional level.

Otis is currently working towards his next solo show which will be opening at China Heights Gallery on August 11. Can’t wait!

See more from Otis Hope Carey —

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