Brett Parker “Billyara”
Being of the Wiradjuri tribe, the Murrumbidgee River People, my family lived at Brungle Mission near the Tumut River, NSW.
Billyara, an eagle, is my totem and it stems from my connection with the land and this is how I sign my work.
My cultural journey began at a young age, growing up and learning about my Indigenous heritage from family. As a young fulla, I was always exploring my surroundings and have always had a love for art, so after finishing school I signed up to be a part of an Indigenous Skill share course in partnership with Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council on the Central Coast NSW. That allowed me to engage and learn more about my culture by going bush with the elders and learning the processes of selecting wood and making artefacts, painting and traditional Aboriginal dance. It was then that I showed a natural talent and the elders embraced my artistic gift, of the main points was bringing back the traditions to the younger generations. Since then, I have been painting and teaching traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art for 33 years.
I like to use my surroundings and nature to inspire me. I have a strong connection to the land, animals and the spiritual link, with all that the Earth and elements provided through Aboriginal culture.