Thomas Marks

 I am a Gunaikurnai man from Gippsland.  Being one of many stolen Generation’s children, I did not grow up on my traditional country.  As an adult, I am now proudly reclaiming my Aboriginal identity through art.

I proudly acknowledges my involvement with the highly successful Pitcha Makin’ Fellas art collective in Ballarat before going to prison.  I remember meeting The Torch CEO, Kent Morris, at Indigenous art exhibitions and events, and then again at Ravenhall Correctional Centre, where I joined The Torch Program in 2018.

Becoming an artist has changed me in so many ways.  It has given me a better perspective and outlook on life, and it has taught me to have patience;  I guess it’s created a whole new world for me and has given me a lot more confidence in myself.  

Motivated by the injustices of my past, as a stolen generation’s child, I strongly depict this in poems written within my artwork.

I have developed a unique art style whilst in prison which has won me two NAIDOC awards, resulting in my artworks being printed on the annual NAIDOC T-Shirts.  I like to alternate between using bright and traditional, earthy colours.

In 2021, my artwork “Walking on my Father’s country” was selected to feature on one of Melbourne’s Art Trams as part of the Rising Festival.

In 2022, I began working on public art murals with The Torch, successfully completing a mural at Pentridge Art Precint and participating in mural intensive training.