Artist Biographies

Barbara WeirBarbara Weir’s mother was the renowned artist Minnie Pwerle and her father was the Irish station owner, Jack Weir. Barbara was taken from her family and fostered out as one of the ‘Stolen Generation’ but in the 1960’s Barbara returned to Utopia and stayed in the dynamic community of artists at Utopia with her aunt Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who was a significant inspiration in her career as an artist. Emily’s work had a profound impact on her and in the early 1990’s she began to seriously explore her artistic talents and developed her iconic grass seed style. In the Utopia Region, there are many varieties of grasses to be found. One such type is found in the spinifex sand plains and sand hills that produce a seed that is collected, crushed and made into a paste to produce bread. This grass can grow up to 15cm high and is reddish in colour. The Aboriginal people collected these seeds in a most unusual way. Due to the seeds ripening at different stages, many would fall to the ground and be covered by sand. The Aboriginal people would look for the nesting site of a particular ant that collected the seeds, ate a certain portion and discarded the rest. The discarded seeds would be found in a pile just outside then nest, where it was collected, cleaned and then ground into a thick paste. These seeds were an important source of food and were collected by the women of the community.

Betty MbitjanaBetty is the daughter of the renowned artist Minnie Pwerle, sister of Barbara Weir and niece of Emily Pwerle. Betty was born on Utopia station whilst the station was still run by non-indigenous owners. She spent her early years on the station mixing a traditional life with a western schooling. As her mother became famous, Betty developed an interest in painting. Like her mother, Betty paints the Awelye and Bush Melon story. Awelye refers to the painting of women’s bodies, in particular the breasts, which are marked in preparation for ceremony. Bush melons are bush tucker eaten by the women during ceremonies. Betty’s paintings depict the designs that the women would paint on their bodies, and the dancing tracks which are made in the sand during women’s (awelye) ceremonies. The concentric circles in the painting refer to the site of the ceremony. In addition, one can see the breasts that are “painted up” and the small circles which represent the bush melons. The designs she uses have been passed down for many generations and only the Pwerle or Kemarre owners can paint them.

Charmaine PwerleCharmaine Pwerle was always surrounded by artists; great-aunt Emily Kngwarreye, the Petyarre sisters, her mother Barbara Weir and grandmother Minnie Pwerle. It is very important for Utopian artists to continue to paint so the Dreamings are never forgotten. Charmaine’s main inspirations are the Atnwengerrp area and Awelye (women’s ceremonies and body paint). Her early education straddled the worlds of the remote outpost of Utopia, the urban environment of Adelaide, where she was sent to ‘improve her education’ and Alice Springs. In 1992 Charmaine returned to Utopia and worked for Urapuntja Council as a junior administration assistant, while living with her mother Barbara Weir and grandparents Minnie Pwerle and Motorcar Jim at Soakage Bore – an outstation on what used to be Utopia Station. During the years she spent at Utopia, Charmaine’s education extended to embrace her people’s culture, performing in ceremonies, and learning the sacred stories passed on to her by her grandmothers.

In Charmaine’s ‘Awelye’ works the women paint each other’s breasts and upper bodies with ochre markings, before dancing in a ceremony. The body designs painted on the chest and shoulders are important and relate to each particular woman’s dreaming. The ochre pigment is ground into powder form and mixed with charcoal and ash before being applied with a flat padded stick or with fingers in linear and curving patterns. The circles in these designs represent the sites and movement where the ceremonies take place.

Cowboy Louie PwerleCowboy Louie Pwerle was born in 1941 on Old MacDonald Station in the Northern Territory. He is the younger brother of the highly regarded Utopian artist Louie Pwerle (deceased). Cowboy Louie’s homelands lie on the Western side of the Sandover River on Utopia Station and stretch West on to Mt Skinner. He typically depicts his Turkey Dreaming over various traditional Sites on Utopia. He also paints Emu (Ankerr) Tucker Dreaming and Lizard/Goanna (Arlewatyerr) Dreaming. Cowboy’s name is related to his reputation as a stockman and his penchant for wearing cowboy attire. His distinctive use of extremely fine ‘micro dots’ is a trademark style and results in a powerful and mesmerising effect. Cowboy lives at Mosquito Bore, Utopia, with his two wives, the sisters Carol and Elizabeth Kngwarreye. He is now carrying on the family tradition as he passes on his dreamings to his grandson.

Dorothy NapangardiDorothy grew up in the bush around the Mina Mina country with little contact with the white man. Her father was Paddy Lewis, senior lawmaker and artist, and her mother was Jeannie Lewis Napururrla. Dorothy moved with her family to Yuendumu, however her family was not happy there and they found their way back to the Mina Mina. As a young girl, Dorothy was promised to an older man whom she married and moved to Alice Springs. It was in Alice Springs in 1987 that Dorothy began to paint. She painted with other Warlpiri women who also lived in Alice Springs. Dorothy’s Jukurrupa, or Dreaming, describes the origins and journeys of ancestral beings. The Mina Mina region of the Warlpiri lands is typified by large areas of sand hills, which weave through the landscape. Her work shows her people running and dancing through and across their country and the various significant events that happened along the way. She shows what her country and the salt lakes (Lake Mackay) look like to her. Dorothy said when she paints “she always has her family in mind and she always has her country in mind.” Tragically, Dorothy died in a car accident in June 2013.

Edward BlitnerEdward Blitner was born in 1961 in the south of Arnhem land but lived for many years in the Roper River region which is near Katherine in the Northern Territory. He started painting when he was seven years old and lived in various regions during his younger years such as Katherine, Victoria River, Kununurra, Fitzroy Crossing and Broome whilst working as a farm-hand and stockman. His Grandfather used to paint on bark using natural ochres and passed down songs and dance styles to the younger generation watching. Edward paints in the traditional style of “Cross Hatch” also referred to as “Rarrk”. The style he paints is his family’s “Cross Hatch” design and is sacred to him and his family.

Emily Kame KngwarreyeEmily Kame Kngwarreye was born in 1910 in the Northern Territory. She is one of the most prominent and successful artists in the history of contemporary indigenous Australian art.She grew up 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, in a remote desert area known as Utopia.

Emily began to paint late in her life but produced over 3000 paintings in the course of her eight-year painting career. Although she was recognised as an artist of international standing, she had very little contact with the outside world for most of her life.

Emily PwerleEmily Pwerle is the sister of another very well known artist, Minnie Pwerle, and comes from the area of Utopia, also known as Urauntja, which lies 300km northeast of Alice Springs. Emily was encouraged to paint by Minnie’s daughter, Barbara Weir, also a high profile artist, and in 2004, together with her sisters Molly and Galya, began their first workshop at the Ulotja Outstation, which continued with a major workshop run every six weeks. During the workshops, all artists including Minnie, would come together and work on a collaborative canvases as well as their own individual canvas. The sisters live together at Irrultja, a tiny settlement at Utopia which is home to about 100 people. In their paintings, the sisters draw the same dreaming as Minnie and Barbara. One of their important dreaming is the bush tomato (Solanum Chippendale), whose name in Alyawarr is Anemangkerr (pronounced similarly to numun-gurra). The circular shape which appears in many of Emily’s canvases represents the bush tomato. Although the seed of the bush tomato is bitter and poisonous, the flesh is an important staple food throughout Utopia and other parts of Central Australia.

Gabriella Possum NungurrayiGabriella Possum Nungurrayi was born in 1967 and she is the eldest daughter of the internationally renowned artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri who was awarded the Order of Australia in 2002. She is recognised as a significant and distinctive artist and her work has been exhibited internationally. In 1985 Gabriella won the prestigious Alice Springs Art Award while she was still studying. At the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show, one of Gabriella’s artworks was presented to Queen Elizabeth, which now hangs alongside her father Clifford Possum’s work at Buckingham Palace. Gabriella is best known for her Seven Sisters paintings, with her iconic depiction of the Milky Way and she also paints Bush Tucker and Grandmother’s Country stories. Her work is in many major collections, including the National Gallery of Australia and many commentators believe her works are set to appreciate significantly in future given her distinctive style and meticulous composition. Gabriella now lives in Melbourne with her family.

George Hairbrush TjungurrayiGeorge Hairbrush Tjungurrayi was born around 1943 in his country North West of Kiwirrkurra, located in the Gibson Desert in Western Australia. George’s sisters are Naata Nungurrayi and Nganngi (Nancy) Nungurrayi, both well-known artists like George. George and his family lived a traditional life until they came out of the desert by way of Mt Doreen Station and Yuendumu. In 1962, George walked to Papunya as a guide for Jeremy Long’s Welfare Branch patrol.

In 1971, school teacher Geoffrey Bardon encouraged some of the senior men to paint a blank school wall. George’s uncle, Charlie Tarawa Tjungurrayi was one of the men involved. The school murals sparked immense interest and is seen as the catalyst of the Papunya art movement, and the beginning of the Aboriginal Art Movement. George served as an apprentice to the senior artists in the Papunya art community. He was surrounded and encouraged by some of the great artists in the Aboriginal art movement, and in 1976 he began to paint in his own right after encouragement from Nosepeg Tjupurrula, one of the founding artists of the Papunya art movement and a leading identity.

George Ward TjungurrayiGeorge Ward Tjungurrayi was born in the area of Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert. George’s father is the famous Yala Yala Gibbs and his brother is the equally renowned artist Willy Tjungurrayi. George arrived at Papunya in 1962 and was a guide to the Welfare Branch. He began painting around 1976. George paints an abstract representation of the travels and stories associated with the Tingari. The Tingari Cycle refers to ancient stories of the Tingari people who travelled the land during mythological times. The Tingari were the creation figures that moved through the land creating landforms as they went. Those landforms form the basis of indigenous culture, its laws and lores and George’s paintings represent the essence of indigenous culture. His ancestral country covers Wala Wala, Kiwirrkura, Lake Mackay, Kulkuta, Karku Ngaluwinyamana and Kilpinya to the north-west of Kintore across the West Australian border. George is married to Nanupu Nangala and has four daughters and one son. He was the winner of the 2004 Wynne Prize and he is entrenched as one of the senior masters of Aboriginal painting.

Gloria PetyarreGloria Petyarre is one of Australia’s leading indigenous painters. Her works are held in many major collections worldwide. Born around 1945 on Utopia Station, Gloria grew up in a remote part of the Eastern Desert, living a traditional life. In the late 1970s she participated in the first art programme organised at Utopia and took up Batik work. Eventually commencing painting in 1988, Gloria’s iconic paintings depict leaves of a special bush medicine plant, which is used for medicinal purposes. Women go to different places around Gloria’s country of Utopia to collect such leaves. Once selected, the leaves are boiled to extract the resin and then kangaroo fat is mixed through, creating a paste that can be stored in the bush for extended periods. The medicine is used to heal cuts, bites, burns, rashes and also acts as an insect repellent. The leaves are also dried and added to boiling water to use as an inhalant for chest conditions. Women perform a Bush Medicine Ceremony at different times of the year and in preparation for the ceremony, the women paint their bodies with the special markings used for that particular ceremony. Gloria spends her time between her home country and Alice Springs.

Helen McCarthy TyalmutyHelen McCarthy Tyalmuty was born at Tennant Creek in 1972. She spent most of her childhood at the Nauiyu Nambiyu Community at Daly River, about 230kms south of Darwin. Helen later completed her education at Mount St Bernard College at Herberton on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland. She went on to study teaching, completing her Bachelor of Arts in Education at Deakin University in 1994. During her time at university, Helen’s art career began to take shape and by 1993 she was already involved in her first art festival. Helen’s painting continued to develop after moving into teaching full time, and for 10 years she successfully combined a job as a teacher in remote communities with her painting activities. Her ‘Marrawuk’ paintings are based on Helen’s Grandfather, Grandmother and their family’s travels to the northern parts of Australia in the dry season looking for food, by foot or canoe. This painting depicts the middle of the dry season at Balgul. When they attended ceremonies they spent the seasons looking for food, they used specific landmarks to follow, allowing them to know which direction to travel when hunting and gathering or going to sacred sites for ceremonies. Landmarks such as hills, large trees, water holes or rocky outcrops were used to help them find their way.   They usually burnt the landscape before their journey. This allows for new growth, and also allows wallabies, kangaroos and other edible bush animals to feed.

Jeannie PetyarreJeannie Petyarre was born c. 1950 at Boundary Bore, an outstation at Utopia station, east of Alice Springs. Jeannie is a niece of the great Emily Kame Kngwarreye, sister of Rosemary Petyarre and half-sister of Evelyn Pultara and Greeny Purvis Petyarre. Jeannie was introduced to the art of Batik in the early 1980’s. She was encouraged by Emily to continue painting her Family’s Bush Yam Dreaming, a Dreaming passed to her by her Aunt, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Bush Yams are an important element of Jeannie’s people’s bush tucker diet and some say the leaves are also used for medicinal purposes.

Jorna NewberryJorna began painting in the mid-1990’s at Warakurna, creating work for casual collectors. Later she joined the Irrunytju arts centre and started painting for this group. Over recent years she has worked closely alongside her legendary uncle, Tommy Watson, and her works have been critically acclaimed. She follows his instruction to favour abstraction as a stylistic mode to ensure the secrecy of important cultural matters, rather than taking the more figurative approach of the Papunya Tula artists. She says “Tommy has had a big influence on me. He teaches me to be respectful in the way I paint”. Walpa Tjukurrpa (Wind Dreaming) relates to her mother’s country at Utantja, a large stretch of sacred ceremonial land that has hilly country and a large rock hole where many people come from time to time to paint up, dance and take part in ceremonies. It is a country filled with kangaroos, camels, rock wallabies and birds. “The wind ceremony forms winds, creates air to cool the lands…” she explains. That wind also helps in hunting as being downwind from animals makes it easy to hunt successfully.

Joylene ReidJoylene Reid Napangardi is a Pintupi woman from Walungurru (Kintore) and area to the west of Alice Springs. Coming from an artistic lineage, Joylene’s parents are Walangkura Napurrula and Kalara Tjapangarti. After growing up at the Ikuntji settlement of Haasts Bluff, in 1981 she returned from the community to Tjukurla and eventually settled in Kintore. Joylene’s works are primarily ‘Women’s Tingari’ depictions of her country and the sacred women’s sites between the communities of Kintore and Kiwirkurra in the Western Desert of central Australia. Her people would conduct important ceremonies at these sites and tell stories of travelling ancestors, who would gather at these sites to rest, sing and dance in the past. Joylene’s choice of colours usually represent the more traditional pigments used for ground designs and body decoration. Her sense of design and movement shows the close association between painted images and the physical landscape. Tutored by her mother’s sister and Barbara Reid Napangardi, Joylene’s works are vivid depictions of women’s ceremonies and women’s stories. Her paintings show the song lines or travel lines of the Tingari, the desert’s ancient, creational figures, moving through the countryside near Joylene’s home of Tjukurla where there are rockholes and ceremony sites.

Judy Watson NapangardiJudy Watson Napangardi was a senior painter who was born in the Mina Mina area of Warlpiri country, South West of Yuendumu. She was custodian of the Napangardi and Napanangka Mina Mina Dreaming stories, which were passed onto her by her sister and co-wife, Maggie Watson Napangardi. Judy paints various renditions of the travels and ceremonies associated with the travels of these women from Mina Mina to Willowra, north of Yuendumu. Judy made many trips with her family by foot to her country and lived for long periods at Mina Mina and Yingipurlangu, her ancestral country on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Deserts. These places are rich in bush tucker such as wanakiji (bush plums), yakajirri (bush tomatoes) and wardapi (sand goanna). Judy was taught painting by her elder sister, Maggie Napangardi Watson. She painted alongside her at Warlukurlangu art centre for a number of years, developing her own unique style. Though she was a petite lady, Judy was a woman of incredible energy who was well known her distinctive painting style. Her paintings are a combination of vivid colours and high-level composition, which have led to widespread appreciation in the art world.

Kim West NapurrulaKim was born in 1960 in Pollock Hills, now known as Kiwirrkurra. Her family was met by Jeremy Long’s Welfare Patrol at a historical time when desert Aboriginal Families were brought in from the desert and trying to make contact with those left in the desert. Kim’s family was found at Willi Rockhole east of Kintore. Kim comes from major Aboriginal Art heritage, her father Freddy West Tjakamarra was one of the original shareholders of Papunya Tula Artists and her brother Bobby West was a traditional owner of Kiwirrkura and a senior Aboriginal art identity. Kim West Napurrula was married to Yuendumu George. Her traditional country is located in Marrapinti an important Women’s Dreaming site. It runs along the Northern Territory and Western Australian border. Tali sand dunes are the hills of sand that cross this country. The habitat is very fragile and only spinifex and green shrubs grow here. In the mornings you can see networks of tracks on the sand. Kim’s paintings take many days to paint as she dots the whole painting with little dots and no lines or block colours. When you stand back and look at her paintings, you can see the hills and valleys of the shifting sands.

Kudditji KngwarreyeLike his half-sister Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kudditji, seems set to take his place as one of Australia’s foremost indigenous artists. Born around 1925, he had a traditional bush upbringing and worked as a stockman and mine worker for many years. He was a traditional custodian of many important Dreamings of the land and men’s business and ceremonial sites located in his country at Utopia Station, about 230km north east of Alice Springs. During his younger days Kudditji frequently took the young boys hunting emu in these lands, merging tradition with practice as part of their initiation as men. It is the land of this experience that he now paints in his ‘My Country’ works. Kudditji participated in many international exhibitions. When he began painting around 1986, he was encouraged to paint in the fashionable style of the time, executing traditional works with detailed infill. Some years later, he came to find his current style of abstract imagery, bold colour use and intuitive interplay with space and form. Initially this style was not welcomed by galleries and for a time he returned to his (then) more successful traditional style of work. However, the artist’s voice was not to be denied for long, and he later resumed his exploration into the abstract.

Linda Syddick NapaltjarriLinda is the daughter of Wanala Nangala and Rintja Tjungurrayi. Her paintings are inspired by both her traditional nomadic life in the desert and the Dreaming of her father and stepfather. Linda’s father was Rintje Tjungurrayi. Rintje was killed by a revenge spearing party in accordance with customary law when Linda was about eighteen months old. Her stepfather, artist Lungkata Shorty Tjungurrayi, subsequently brought her up. Before Lungkata died in 1985, he instructed Linda to carry on his work and paint his Dreaming. In 1986, her two Uncles Uta Uta Tjangala and Nosepeg Tjupurrula taught Linda the art of painting. Linda was taught the elements of Christianity by the missionaries in the Mission School. She spent three years there before walking to Papunya and later onto Mount Leibig community. Like the other Pintupi people Linda and her descendants have been Christians in addition to their Aboriginal identity since that time. Linda says “I am Black-fella Artist Woman, me and I’m Christian”. Many of her paintings have strong Christian imagery, such as her “Three Wise Men” works.

Margaret Lewis NapangardiMargaret was born in the Mina Mina area of Warlpiri country, south west of Yuendumu. She comes from a blue chip family of artists. Her father was the artist and Senior Lawman Paddy Lewis Japanangka while her sisters are Dorothy Napangardi, Maggie Watson and Judy Watson. Margaret has very little formal schooling but she does know the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) of her country. She grew up in the bush and had little contact with white man until they moved to Yuendumu.

She paints the Napangardi and Napanangka Mina Mina dreaming stories and various renditions of the travels and ceremonies associated with the travels of these women from Mina Mina to Willowra, north of Yuendumu. Margaret has associated with paintings from an early age and in 1978 Margaret learnt the art of Batik, which has assisted her in her paintings. Her strong and powerful works are created with incredibly precise and meticulous dotting.

Marie RyderMarie Ryder was born in 1966 and grew up at Ltyentye Apurte in central Australia. She is the daughter of Theresa Ryder, a highly regarded landscape artist. Marie learnt to paint by watching her mother and her key story is bush tucker. She uses rich and earthy colours representative of her homelands to depict the diverse and colourful bushtucker prevalent in the central desert. Marie splits her time between ltyentye-apurte and Utopia.  Her work is incredibly neat and detailed and her star is definitely on the rise.

Ningura NapurrulaNingura was born in the desert south of Kiwirrkura in WA. She was married to Yala Yala Gibbs, one of the founders of Papunya Tula art movement. She helped Yala Yala with his paintings and in 1995 she joined the Haasts Bluff painting camp to paint for herself. Ningura was chosen as the sole female desert artist to paint the ceiling of the acclaimed Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. She is in the top echelon of female aboriginal artists and her work is in most major art institutions in Australia. Ningura Napurrula passed away on 11 November 2013.

The story Ningura tells is her mother’s story, Wyari Napaltjarri. It belongs to the Napaltjarri and Napurrula women and deals with a women’s birthing place (or, as Ningura calls it, “a borning place”), Wirrulnga rock hole. The large concentric circles she uses represent the rock hole itself, where the women give birth. The lines stretching out to either side of the rock hole are sand hills which run on either side of a creek. Where she uses semi-circular shapes she is showing old women that are looking after the woman having the baby. The shapes themselves are meant to show the women wearing nyimparra/hair-string skirts/bush belts. Where we see two women sitting (with the normal arcs) they are sitting either side of a nulla nulla that they have used to catch a goanna. Ningura uses small open circles to represent what she called, kumporopa or bush cumquat. The small coloured in circles are purra or bush apples. The larger circles Ningura also uses, with a centre radiating outwards, represent women’s hair twirled and plaited onto the top of the heads so as to carry food and water. This is known as a Mungwarri.

Rini TigerRini Tiger is the daughter of Tiger Palpatja who painted ‘Wanampi – Water Snake’ and was an Amata elder that had strong ties to traditional culture. Rini painted with her Father when he was alive. Amata is an Aboriginal community situated in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara/Yankunyjatjara Lands in the far Northwest of South Australia. Amata is situated amongst the picturesque Musgrave Ranges, approximately 120km south of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and 500km southwest of Alice Springs.

Rosemary PetyarreRosemary Petyarre was born in 1945 at Utopia, north-east of Alice Springs. She was one of a group of Anmatyerre women at the forefront of the art movement in the Utopia area, and travelled to Indonesia to learn different techniques for producing batik. She later branched out and commenced painting with acrylic on canvas. In her paintings, she incorporates traditional iconography and realistic elements. Her themes are primarily bush medicines, yam dreaming and body painting. As a bush woman, she is familiar with her land and its abundance of bush tucker species, medicine plants and native fauna. These are the stories inherited by her, along with important women’s stories, and which form the basis of her paintings. In aboriginal culture, ceremonies are focal points in the life of the community. They are held for different purposes, but are integral to the happiness and well-being of the people. Rosemary Petyarre is the sister of famous Aboriginal artist Greenie Purvis Petyarre. Other famous Petyarre artists include well known Gloria Petyarre, Jeannie Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre. One key painting is of the bush yam leaves, a dreaming passed to her by her aunt, Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Selma CoulthardSelma Coulthard was born in 1954 in Alice Springs. She was called Nunay by her family which means Cute One. Selma grew up at Tempe Downs Station but wanted to go to school at Hermannsburg, which she did. Selma has 5 children and is currently raising her grandson, Shane who is in grade 8. Selma learnt to paint watching the artists in the Todd River. It was from these beginnings she went on to paint in watercolours. Her background in this medium is evident in the textures of the acrylic on linen.

Although Selma’s influence was from the artists in the Todd River, the stories came from her grandmothers and the laws of the land. She remembers her mother and grandmother drawing stories in the sand with a piece of wire. Selma gets inspiration from these stories. There are certain areas she can’t paint about but Running Waters is one region she often depicts in her paintings. Her father was custodian of this land and now her brothers have taken over this position.

Tommy WatsonTommy Watson is a senior Pitjantjatjara elder and law man, born around 1935 at Anamarapiti, a homeland 75kms south of the present day community of Irrunytju (Wingellina) in Western Australia, one of the country’s most arid regions. As a young man, Watson lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle with his family, walking thousands of kilometres from waterhole to waterhole. Their country was in the western reaches of the Gibson Desert, which missionaries entered when he was a young man. Over this time he absorbed vital information about where drinking water and various sources of nutrition could be found. As an adult, Watson became a stockman at Mount Ebenezer, then Yuendumu where he established an enviable reputation as a feared warrior as well as a horseman. He later returned to his homelands to live a largely traditional indigenous lifestyle, a life deeply involved with ceremony and connection to the land. Watson began painting in 2002 following the establishment of the Irrunytju community art centre in 2001, of which Watson was a founding member and he has since sprung to prominence both nationally and internationally.

Trevor Turbo BrownTrevor ‘Turbo’ Brown was a man of many talents who has been known as a painter, boxer and rapper. His career as an artist took off as his unique artistic talent has become recognised. His intense and vibrant works depicting animals hark back to when he was a teen living on the Mildura streets and the animals were his only friends. He painted animals and birds such as cockatoos, wombats and dingos in a unique and expressive style. Turbo’s first solo exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne in 2004 was a sell-out, with almost all of the pieces bought by the opening night. Subsequently Turbo achieved international recognition for his original and inspired paintings. His work was in the finals of the 22nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2005, 2006, and 2008. In 2012 Turbo won the Deadly Art Award, Victoria’s highest honour for an Indigenous artist, for his painting ‘Owl Dreaming’.