Nudge Blacklock


Nudge was born in Guyra in 1958.  He belongs to the Biripi/Ngarabal language group.

Nudge’s work has a strong connection to water.

“I try to put movement into my paintings, especially the water ones. Water is important – life cannot exist without it and also for Aboriginal people, rivers were the traditional boundaries between Aboriginal tribal lands.”

“Not enough respect is shown to the earth – I want people to think about the importance of not polluting our waterways,  of protecting our vegetation and allowing fish passages to exist.”

Gina Varagnolo

Honey Ants & Bush Berries

“I am Gina Simon Varagnolo.  I live in Taree.

Art is my thinking time about my life experiences.  I grew up around Maitland and Newcastle.  Me, my partner and 3 sons moved to Taree in 2001.

I started doing Aboriginal art at Taree and Great Lakes TAFE in 2002.

Russell Saunders was one of my art teachers.  I learnt a lot from Russell and teachers from Taree and Great Lakes TAFE.  They have inspired me to keep up with my paintings.

In 2009 I spent a week as Artist in Residence at the Manning Regional Art Gallery.  While there, painting and talking to art gallery goers, I sold works and gained commissions for further works.

I also won a Gilli Award in Sydney 2009 with seven on the 12 categories won by North Coast TAFE nominees. The purpose of the award is to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Aboriginal TAFE NSW Staff and students who have contributed to their communities through training and education.

I completed my Diploma in Fine Art at Great Lakes Campus and Taree TAFE.

In 2010 I won the Wollotuka Acquisitive Art Prize held at the NewcastleUniversity.”


Steve Faulkner


Steven likes to paint stories about the sea life in the area. In particular about whales that are on their annual migration to have their calves.

The whales take with them all the sea creatures to help them find their way and to keep them safe.

Peggy Quinlan


I enjoy to paint turtles because it is part of my culture and heritage. In my culture turtles are used for food. We dive or jump into the Nulla Nulla Creek, after a flood is best, and grab the turtles as they swim past us. We then make a fire on the riverbank, and cut the turtles heads off and throw them onto the hot ashes. We eat the flesh of the arms and legs, then eat the unborn eggs. The meat tastes like chicken, yum. It supplements our diet.
Today turtle shells can be cleaned and painted, and used for ornaments.

I also enjoy to paint dolphins because they are amazing creatures. They are friendly, they are beautiful, they can be trained but most of all they are intelligent. When people go out looking for food on the ocean, wherever they see dolphins, diving and swimming around in a circle, this indicates to them where the fish are. This is how our people know where to catch fish.

Patty Wright


Patty is an emerging art who began painting in 2007 when she commenced classes at Greenhill Community College.

‘My children were growing up and I wanted to do something for myself so that I could get out of the house and mix with my family and friends.’

Patricia Mcinherny

Patricia is an Aboriginal Consultant and Director of Dalang GaRumba which explores play with an Aboriginal perspective. Patricia is mutli talented and offers cultural workshops together with a range of aboriginal artefacts including clapping sticks, carved wooden bowls and felt story boards.

Natalie Bateman


Natalie’s artworks are beautifully conceived paintings that challenge the viewer to really experience her interior world. Viewers are mesmerised by the layers of meaning, texture, colour and design. Instantly people want to touch and revel in those perfect ‘dots’.

Milton Budge


Milton Budge, Thunggutti painter, was born on the 10th May, 1941 at Burnt Bridge Mission, Kempsey, NSW. He spent his early years on the Mission before being removed at the age of 13 by the Aborigines Welfare Board to nearby Kinchela Boys Home where he spent the rest of his childhood.

After completing his High School Leaving Certificate at Kinchela, Budge was taken by the same Aborigines Welfare Board to Glebe to have an IQ test at the newly formed Tranby Aboriginal College. The test concluded that he was bright enough to become an accountant, however this vocation was not accessible to Aboriginal people at that time. Instead Budge undertook an apprenticeship in auto-mechanics at Willoughby on Sydney’s north shore and did his study at Ultimo Technical College. This work paid 5 pounds and 5 shillings per week, which after rent, travel and food expenses left Budge with only five shillings. He lasted 12 months working under these tight financial conditions before gaining new employment as a Telegram Delivery Boy for the Kings Cross Post Office in Williams Street, Kings Cross. This job too, only lasted 12 months as the lure of home and country was too strong and so he returned to Burnt Bridge Mission in 1960 where he undertook casual seasonal labour working on local farms.

Budge maintained an interest in art that began in childhood and painted landscapes in oils. In 1987 Budge began painting and said of his intention at that time that he “wanted to incorporate European and Aboriginal styles together – to combine the two”. In 1989 he was a founding member of the Kempsey Koori Artists along with David Fernando, Mary Duroux, Raymond Paul Button, Sharon Elaine Smith and his cousin Robert Campbell Jnr.

Budge was commissioned to create two murals in the Kempsey region. The first commission in 1987 was for the Booroongen-Djugun Aboriginal Corporation’s Aged Care Facility (with Sharon Smith) at Kempsey and the second mural in 1989, was painted onto the Water Towers at Crescent Head. The Kempsey Koori Artists group disbanded in 1992. Budge works with synthetic polymer on canvas and his paintings depict Dreaming Stories told to him by his grandmother, memories of life on Burnt Bridge Mission or cultural memories of Aboriginal life before the European arrival. His paintings are created using soft pastel colours that at times seem at odds with the content of his work in particular his Mission paintings, which often depict the sad, cruel and strict regime of a life lived on a New South Wales Aboriginal mission mid 20th century.

Budge’s first exhibition was a group show titled “Kempsey Koori Artists” at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Sydney in 1989. At that time Boomalli was only two years old and in staging this exhibition announced the Kempsey group of artists to the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal art world. Broader appreciation for Budge’s work came soon after when in 1989, the same year as the Boomalli show, he entered his painting Ration Day On Burnt Bridge in the 6th Annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award held at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). The painting won the Best Painting (European Medium) category. The following year Budge had two solo exhibitions at Roz MacAllam Gallery in Brisbane and Framed Gallery in Darwin and participated in “Balance” at the Queensland Art Gallery.

In 1992 he continued to show his work across the country with the exhibition “Flash Pictures” at the National Gallery of Australia and “New Art Six” at the Roz MacAllam Gallery. The National Gallery of Australia again showed his work in 1994 in an exhibition titled “Heritage”. During the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Budge occupied a stall showcasing and selling his paintings at the Olympic site at Homebush Bay and in 2001 the Lismore Regional Gallery produced the exhibition, “My Style”, which showcased the works of Budge alongside the works of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists founding member, Jeffrey Samuels and local Lismore artist, Digby Moran.

In 2003 Budge was invited to participate in the exhibition “Messages from the Fringe” (a satellite exhibition for the Sydney Opera House’s 2003 annual Message Sticks program) at the Walkabout Gallery in Leichhardt, Sydney, where his work, Fish and Shellfish 2003 was aquired by the Australian National Maritime Museum.

In 2007 Budge’s work, Ration day times (Working for food rations, Collecting rations and rations), a diptych of synthetic polymer on canvas that depicts a ration day on Burnt Bridge Mission won the2007 Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize. This work now forms part of the Parliament of NSW art collection.

Margaret McEvoy


Margaret was born in Macksville in 1973 and is a member of the Gumbayngirr language group.

When my children were at primary school I time on my hands and wanted to learn something new. I started classes at Greenhill Community College where I learnt painting, drawing, printmaking, batik, tie-dyeing and sewing.

I really enjoy printmaking and have been busy sewing bags with my family until late in the evening. I look forward to developing my printing skills further.

John Kelly

John “Gurri“ Kelly, is an aboriginal Australian artist , who’s art depicts stories from his home and people the Dunghutti Nation, Kempsey north coast New South Wales (NSW).

With every brush stroke, John Kelly imparts his own special brand of cultural knowledge.

When Gurri talks, you instantly know that art and culture are two things he feels very passionately about. In fact, to Gurri they are as one.

“My fathers greatest words to me where, be my own Mentor not my own Tormentor” “My father told me to paint my surrealism; to paint what was in my mind,” he says. “I never draw anything beforehand. I visualise it, and then I approach the canvas and just attack it.”

Through his art, Gurri has been able to express his passion and love for his culture and traditions in a way that has brought him personal satisfaction as well as success and recognition.

“I started painting around nine years ago,” he says. “My mother was, and still is, a painter and my father was a very cultural man. I listened to the old people and gained some of their knowledge in the way of symbols and the way of the land. “

“I carry on the beliefs of my father that culture is the way of tomorrow, by passing it onto my sons and daughters and my grandchildren, hoping that it is dreamtime tomorrow not a nightmare tomorrow”

Gurri is my name i am a culturally minded Dunghutti man as we look beyond these stories, that became paintings a journey of dreamtime stories that came through me, for them to be seen and

Hi my name is John Kelly ( Gurri ) , I am a 45 year old Dunghutti man from Kempsey on the Mid North Coast I was born 6th June 1962

Gail Naden

Gail has been a professional practising artist for many years. Her works on display are of a unique contempory style using mixed media.

Gails’s work is presently featured on the Gilgandra White/Yellow pages for 2009/2010.

Enid Wright


Enid was born in 1949 and is a member of the Dunghutti tribe.

Enid has recently discovered her talents since going to the Greenhill Community College for the past 5 years. I wanted to get out of the house and to be with my family and friends. Since attending college I have learnt painting and drawing skills, printing, printmaking on silk, dyeing and sewing.

My passion at the moment is printmaking and sewing. I enjoy sitting up late in the evening with my family sewing.


Ellen Lockwood

Ellen was born in Kempsey and is a member of the Dunghutti Tribe.

Ellen enjoys painting rockpools in a contemporary style.

Digby Moran


Albert (Digby) Moran was born in Ballina and raised on Cabbage Tree Island.  His father was Dunghutti and his mother Bundjalung.  He is a highly respected member of the Lismore Ballina community.

Sixty year old Moran started painting late in his career.  He worked in agriculture and even as a boxer before he turned his hand to painting.  In 1991 he undertook an art course through TAFE which launched his career as an artist.  Painting provided a vehicle to express his emotions and stories which he poured on to canvas telling the history of his aboriginal community, life on a mission as a child and stories told to him by his mother and elders.

As a story teller, Digby uses the methods of his ancestors passed on to him by his grandfather, his inspiration to paint, to express his Bundjalung heritage.  He uses dot painting combined with other painting styles to depict recollections of his childhood on the island, folllowing the seasonal harvest trail and touring with travelling boxing troupes.

His work has always been closely connected to his people and their past.  Moran’s motives often refer to water, the most vital element in Bundjalung dreamings.  Digby blends these ‘ancient’ aspects of his culture, the stories and the dot techniques with contemporary styles, stories and palettes.  Although he doesnt consider himself an elder, Digby enjoys enormous respect throughout the Northern Rivers region, from artists as well as the wider community.  His varied life has taken him from a mission on Cabbage Tree Island all the way to exhibiting his paintings internationally.

Danielle Gorogo


Danielle is a woman of Dunghutti, Bundjulung, Gumbayngirr and Papua New Guinean descent.

Danielle has a multi-faceted cultural heritage that is reflected in her art. She has a strong spiritual connection to Mother Earth which has drawn her back to the traditional country of her mother’s people – the Djanbun people of the Washpool area west of Grafton.

Danielle works with gouache on archival paper and acrylic on canvas.

Alana Roberts


DOB:     9 May 1946

Alana likes to paint so she can express feelings that bring out a spiritual insight of past, present and future.

“I am one of 5 children. I particularly enjoy to paint bush tucker paintings relating to my childhood days.”