Mark O’Callaghan

I am a Kurtijar man who has been painting  since 2015.  Painting for “The Torch” has helped me to learn more about my culture and family.

Being a member of the Stolen generation, I felt lost, unsure of who I was and where I was from. I was taken from my family at 9 months of age but I’ve reconnected with family to learn more about my country and culture. I use my art practice therapeutically and get lost in the process. Painting eases my anxiety and depression, making me feel relaxed and content in myself.

Being an artist has made me more positive and given me something to strive for. It makes me feel whole. I’m not just a number anymore, I’m somebody. 

It makes me feel proud to be Aboriginal and that way people get to learn more about our culture, it’s important to me to share our culture with others.

I often paint with dark backgrounds or vibrant colours in the hope to inspire happiness in my own life but also to everyone around me. I love the feedback I receive when my artwork makes people feel good. Sharing my stories through art has given me a new sense of pride. I am passionate about learning but also teaching others about Aboriginal culture and art. I aspire to support young people in care with my life experience and dream of providing art supplies to children in homes to show them another way in life.