Darwin Art Fair

Bula'bula stand at Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair - Darwin August 2009

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Billy Black PDF Print E-mail

Date of birth : 1955

Language : Djinang

Clan : Murrungun

Social Affiliations : Dhuwa moiety, Wamut subsection


Billy Black was one of the canoeists' in the film Ten Canoes, made by Rolf de Heer and the Ramingining community. For those of you who have seen the film, you may remember the scene where the Honey Man and canoeists' are contemplating their fate, should the cross-river people inflict sorcery over them. Billy is the man who, when asked what he thought might happen, commented, "yew?... don't ask me...." Very deadpan humour!

Billy is particularly known for his sculptures of forest mokuy, a devil like creature. In 1993 he received an Honourable Mention for his sculpture in the Australian Heritage Commission Art Award held at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

In the 2005 sixth annual Smart Art Survey, as featured in Australian Art Collector (Issue 33, p. 117) noted art critic Patrick Hutchings, nominated Billy Black for inclusion in this national survey of highly recommended artists.

Billy Black principally paints black headed python, long neck tortoise, butterflies and yams, as well as sawfish and the Murrungun Morning Star story. 


Select Group Exhibitions:
1988, Biennale of Sydney, Aboriginal Memorial, Pier One, Sydney
1993, Australian Heritage Commission Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House Canberra
1996, Islands: Contemporary Installations, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1998, New World Art Gallery, Hattem, The Netherlands
1998. Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum, Brussels, Belgium
1999, Ramingining Artists Show, High on Art, Melbourne
1999, Le Memorial un chef-d'oeuvre d'art aborigine, Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland; State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
2000, Ramingining artists, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2000, Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2003, Out of the Dilly Bag, Bright!, St Kilda, Victoria
2003, Bula’bula Arts at the Virginia Fringe Film Festival, Virginia, USA
2004, The Affordable Art Fair, New York City, New York, USA
2004, Buyu: Weaving from Ramingining, Budds Beach Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Qld
2004, Artists from Ramingining, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2004, The World of Aboriginal Art and Tingatinga Paintings, The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan
2004, Dupun, Djalumbu, Badurru-Hollow Logs from Ramingining, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2004, Ramingining Artists, Tandanya, National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide
2005, Emergence: Happening Artists from Ramingining, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2005, Pandanus to Paper, Northern Editions, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT
2006, Recently Ramingining, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2006, Out of the Dilly Bag and into the Canoe, Brightspace! St Kilda
2007, Bula'bula Arts: The Next Generation, Australia Dreaming Art, Melbourne

Kluge-Ruhe Collection, University of Virginia, USA.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
The Hida Earth Wisdom Centre, Gifu, Japan

Hutchings, Patrick, Billy Black, Australian Art Collector, Issue 33 July - September 2005, p. 117
Mundine, Djon, 2001, The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Arnhem Land, MCA & Bula’bula Arts

1989/90, John Kluge, Painting Their Land Commission, USA
1993, Honourable Mention for Ramingining Artists, Australian Heritage Commission Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House Canberra [artist not named individually]

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Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation