From his home in Cairns, Meeks now creates works of art that speak to us of cross cultural interaction, relationships, gender, traditional and modern spirituality and his environment. His extensive accomplishments achieved in study, residencies, commissions, community arts, and public art, certainly attribute to an outstanding career to date, which will only continue to grow given his passion and determination. His works are testament not only to his skills and talents as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, but also to his wonderful sense for colour and design that allows his work to shine. Presently, working Part time in Indigenous Sexual Health and in remote communities, delivering Cert 3-4 in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Identify and culture.
He has had both a traditional and formal education, having been taught by his grandfather and other relatives before going to study at the City Art Institute in Sydney. He later returned to Queensland to study with various tribal elders, including those of the Lardil people of Mornington Island.
Meeks values this combination of training and experience; his work employs both traditional images and themes arising out of his concern with the issue of land and Human rights.
A former member of the Boomalli urban Aboriginal artist’s co-operative, he won an Australia Council fellowship to study in Paris in 1989 and went on to exhibit throughout Europe and North and South America.
Arone began printmaking in 1982 in collaboration with printmaker Theo Tremblay. His work was also influenced by his participation in a cultural exchange to Santa Fe, USA, during the 1990s. He says: “Printmaking has given me another medium of creativity to explore. The directness and fluid qualities have made it possible to introduce a freshness and immediacy to my work. I began to create a new language of symbols through this process”. He has a very keen eye for graphic detail and always works with several possibilities as he enters an intellectual discourse with the work.
He is well known for his illustrations for children’s books, including ‘When The World Was New’, ‘This Is Still Rainbow Snake Country’ and ‘The Pheasant and Kingfisher’. He wrote and illustrated Enora and the Black Crane, which won the 1992 UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats Award for International Excellence in Children’s Book Illustration. His Latest Book, Sissi and the Cassowary, Has been translated into Taiwanese and Japanese. Arone continues with his Children’s books Collaborating, With Local Story tellers. Illustrating.