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The Artist

Brett Parker “Billyara”

 

I am from the Wiradjuri tribe, we are Murrumbidgee River People and my family lived at Brungle Mission near the Tumut River, NSW. I sign my paintings Billyara, this is my totem, an eagle and it stems from my connection with the land.

I started on my cultural journey from a young age and grew up learning about my Indigenous heritage from family. As a young fulla I was always learning and 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 gifts. One of the main points was bringing back the traditions to the younger generations.

In 1989 I was a part of the AECG (The NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc) on the Central Coast and have contributed to the NSW Education Departments commitment in educating all Australian children about our rich Indigenous history. I have now been facilitating Aboriginal art and culture workshops for over 30 years, in over 300 daycares, schools and organisations across Australia.

I have won a number of awards for my artwork through the Gosford Regional Gallery’s Reconciliation exhibition and competition. The major award is the Tony Donovan Award. Tony and I learned the arts together and it was an honour to be a part of the Central Coast's original artist's, setting the way for future generations. I also won the NAIDOC award in 2009 for my work within my community.

 

Another great moment was having my artwork “Descendants” feature in the Indigenous Law Bulletin along with the first published apology from Kevin Rudd back in 2008. I was selected to exhibit twice at The Parliament House NSW Aboriginal art awards and have traveled to Singapore while Chair person of an Indigenous art group. Representing and curating the groups exhibition in the Australian High commission. While there, I taught Aboriginal art in a local school established for International students who had relocated to Singapore.

I have been working on many different community art projects over the years and engaging our youth in our culture, just the way I was taught years ago. I worked in Cleveland Detention Centre while living in Townsville for 2 years and have also facilitated a number of Juvenile Justice Programs working with disengaged youth and young offenders, establishing relationships with Police, their peers and community.

My passion for educating people about Indigenous art and culture has lead me to designing for Modern Teaching Aids after they approached me in 2012 while teaching at an exclusive gallery in Northbridge. I'm now in my 9th year working with MTA, designing a range of Modern Teaching Aids Educational resources (Mats, games, puzzles, soft furnishings & more).

 

Partnering with MTA has allowed me to introduce my contemporary Aboriginal style art in a fun and engaging way where people can actually use my products in everyday life and learn about the art while doing so.

Through my business Billyara Aboriginal Art I have now been proudly self employed on a full time basis for the past 7 years. I live in Chinchilla QLD with my beautiful wife and 2 kids. The kids are proud of their heritage and love to be learning beside me on my cultural journey as an Artist.

I like to use my surroundings and nature to inspire me and have a strong connection to the land, animals and a spiritual link with my ancestors. I have a love for crafting traditional hunting tools and didgeridoos and while working on country I am able to practice the oldest living culture in the world.

My style of art, CONTEMPORARY, ABSTRACT & SURREAL 

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Awards

  • 1st place open category "Songlines", Reconciliation exhibition 2016

  • Tony Donovan award 1st place "Reconciliation Issues", Reconciliation exhibition 2013

  • Tony Donovan award 1st place "Lets talk recognition, for everyone", Reconciliation exhibition 2012

  • Tony Donovan award 1st place "Read the signs", Reconciliation exhibition 2010

  • NAIDOC 2009 Community award - Achievement in Art & Culture Central Coast

  • 1st place collaboration "Reconciliation Flowers" with Justin Rossi, Reconciliation exhibition 2009

  • 1st place collaboration Journey of Dreams Aboriginal art group painting, Reconciliation exhibition 2009

  • 1st place open award for "Toast to the Coast", Reconciliation exhibition 2007

  • 1st place Indigenous craftwork collaboration with Lesley Webber, Reconciliation exhibition 2006

  • 1st place Indigenous artwork "Relative Journey", Reconciliation exhibition 2006

  • 2nd place Indigenous artwork collaboration with Lesley Webber, Reconciliation exhibition 2005

Achievements

Career
  • Modern Teaching Aids product range available throughout Australia & New Zealand 2012 - 2021

  • GO Foundation Indigenous Football donated for The Big Lunch 2020, 2019

  • Gladstone Regional Gallery Martin Hanson Memorial Award 2019

  • QPAC Brisbane Commonwealth Olympic Games exhibition “See my story” Artist in residence artwork collaborative with Cleveland Detention Centre Youth 2018

  • Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence Tuggerah 2016 & 2017

  • Gosford Regional Gallery Reconciliation week exhibition and competition, 2004 - 2016, Gosford Art Prize - The Overflow exhibition, NAIDOC week 40 Year Referendum exhibition, NAIDOC week Indigenous Mural Project Central Coast School Students, Simply Black (Group of Central Coast Artist’s)

  • Crowne Plaza Terrigal - 5 Lands Walk Terrigal Esplanade "En plein air" painting and artists exhibition 2014, 2015, 2016

  • Westfield Tuggerah Artist in residence - Wyong Shire Council's Activate Space 2015

  • Stanthorpe Regional Gallery GBATSIC NAIDOC Exhibition 2014

  • NRL Indigenous Round Market Stall - Blue Tongue Stadium

  • Impressability exhibition of Darkened Light, Dance piece choreographed by Billyara launched

  • Gallery 307, Northbridge Sydney Aboriginal art exhibition

  • The Entrance Gallery – Artstart program Burrun Dharra Exhibition, Indigenous Art Program 2012 - 2013 RYSS & PCYC

  • The Rocks Markets Sydney Guest artist for Master art demonstration

  • Central Coast Journey Of Dreams Exhibitions, Kuringai Council Chambers, Ourimbah University/Gibalee, Gosford Regional Gallery & Australian High Commission Singapore

  • Tuggerah Supa Centa Art Project 2010, 2011

  • Wollotuka Acquisitive Art Prize exhibition, Newcastle University

  • St Lukes Church Woy Woy Exhibition “Heavens Alive”

  • Wyong Race Course Central Coast Festival of the arts 34th Year exhibition

  • Erina Pathway Awards exhibition

  • Hornsby Library exhibition

  • Homebush Home and Giving Trade Fair

  • Mingara World Youth Day, Market exhibition

  • Rainbow Love Umina On Sacred Grounds exhibition 1 & 2

  • Kincumber High School Festival exhibition

  • Rogue Gallery Long Jetty Billyara's Collection - 1st solo exhibition, Connecting our culture 1 & 2 Exhibits (Group of Central Coast Artist’s)

  • Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art prize finalist 2005 & 2007 Regional tour

  • Peninsula Village Umina - Bridging the gaps exhibition

  • Campbelltown Art Centre - Fisher’s Ghost art exhibition

  • Crowne Plaza Terrigal - 5th National Indigenous Environmental Health Conference, Indigenous art from Terrigal and beyond.

Positions

Recent

Facilitating over 300 daycares, schools and organisations over Australia

  • Cleveland Detention Centre Townsville QLD Aboriginal artist in residence program & Commonwealth Games “See my story” artwork 2018

  • Wyong Learning Community Schools Aboriginal Leaders Mural project 2014 (designed by Billyara)

  • Bloomberg Corporate Family Fun Day workshops 2014

  • University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus Culture on the Coast 2014 x 4 panel mural for Bush Tucker Garden on campus (designed by Billyara), Ourimbah Campus Create 2258 2014 (Painting designed by Billyara)

  • St John Vianney Primary School Mural Project 2014 (designed by Billyara)

  • RYSS & Juvenile Justice Mural Program 2014 (designed by Billyara)

  • Holgate Public School workshop 2014

  • YMCA Central Coast Vacation care workshops 2014

  • Valley Schools Combined Cultural Day workshops 2014

  • Central Coast Adventist School OSHC Workshops 2014

  • Goodstart ELC OOSHC workshops 2014

  • Kanwal Public School x 2 Murals 2014

  • Wadalba Community High School - Restoration of Boat for Tacoma Public School 2014 (designed by Billyara)

  • Community Artist GBATSIC Stanthorpe QLD community murals workshop

  • Community Artist “Summer in the city” Festival Gosford City Council Permanently displayed at Gosford Railway Station 2011 (mural designed by Billyara)

  • Lisarow High School (mural designed by Billyara) & art workshops

  • NAISDA Auditionee workshop 2014, Aboriginal art & culture workshop 2014, Garabara Ngurra Dance Camp workshop, Orientation day

  • Wyong Public School Aboriginal Art & Culture workshops 2014

  • Shalvey NAIDOC & 40 Yr anniversary Mural project 2014 (designed by Billyara)

  • Woodbury Park Daycare 2014

  • Magenta Shores workshops 2014

  • Flutterbys Daycare workshops & murals 2014 & 2015

  • Imperial Shopping Centre Gosford Summer in the City Workshops 2014

  • Wadalba Community School Cultural Affirmation Program 2013/2014

Commissions

Mentionable
  • Reverse Garbage Marrickville community artist " Yenmala Nura Garden" 2014 - Funded by Disney

  • UON Wollotuka Cultural Sports Day awards 2014

  • Ricky Walford Commemorative Awards, Walgett Shire 2009

  • The NSW Education Department Artwork 2009, 2010,

  • Gosford City Council, Women's Rugby league World cup 2008

  • Awards designed for the Pathways Group /Ourimbah Uni 2008 & 2009, Newcastle Uni 2008 & 2009

  • Gosford City Council, Young achievers awards 2007, NAIDOC awards 2007, Aboriginal Exchange Programs 2009, Young Deadly Aboriginal Surf Programs 2009

Supporting

Brett is an active supporter of The Go Foundation, donating his time and artistic skills to help raise funds and awareness for this amazing initiative.

 

The Go Foundation seeks to support students through the GO Ecosystem, a three-way collaboration supported by corporate Australia.

 

It comprises CareerTrackers, schools and universities and Indigenous organisations, all working to create a brighter future for Indigenous Australians.

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© Copyright Billyara 2021

Proudly created by Flex the Cortex

I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia. I recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.