Billy Blackall

Through my artwork I try to portray the way in which my ancestors lived and I have these pictures in my mind of what life would have been like before colonization.  As a result of the missionaries, who gathered my people onto the Cumeragunga Mission, my Grandfather and Grandmother lived and worked on the mission. They had 7 children, one of which was my mother.

After illness took my Grandmother, the children including my mother were put into foster homes and eventually lived in Ballarat with an Aunty.

Therefore I have lived and worked in Ballarat most of my life, however have recently spent six years living and working on the Murray River near Mildura.

Aboriginal art and culture has always been a strong influence in my life, which my mother instilled in me throughout her life.  And even when I lost my mother and headed off in a different direction, the Aboriginal paintings that I have done most of my life helped me to find the direction my mother would have been proud of.

I decided a long time ago that my artwork was the best way to express my feelings and keep me connected to my culture.  In my art I used different and vibrant colours to tell the stories of the past.