Clan/Clan Grou: Yidinyji
My given tribal name is Bindur Bullin, after a great warrior. I am a descendant of the Yidinji tribe who occupied the fertile rainforest lands from Cairns in the north to Babinda in the south and west into the Atherton Tablelands as far as Kairi.
My ancestral history is rooted in this region. My great-grandparents were both tribal elders when all the lands were Yidinji. My father, George, also knew the traditional ways of living. He spoke the Yidinji language, though he wasn’t allowed to speak it when he went to school. He was forced to reject the traditional ways and to assimilate to the white society. This broke the continuity of our culture, language and heritage that has been passed down through many generations.
It has been up to me to research my cultural background and to rediscover my heritage. My grandmother, who spoke Yidinji, taught me stories and legends about the rainforest – its bush food, animals, young warriors and special places such as Babinda Boulders and the Gordonvale Pyramid. These stories are the inspiration to a lot of my work.
I incorporate traditional designs with modern techniques in my art, and each design has a spiritual meaning. Traditionally very design had a different meaning associated with totems or inspired by legends.
1992-94 Associate Diploma, Indigenous Art Studies, Tropical North Queensland TAFE, Cairns
1994-2010 Tjapukai Aboriginal Arts Corporation, Smithfield QLD – Dancer, set designer shop manager
2014 Gorman House Art Centre + Megalo Print Workshop, Canberra
2014 Stories from Home: Looking Back, Canopy Art Centre, Cairns (official event of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair)
2003 Story Place – Indigenous Art of Cape York and the Rainforest, exhibition catalogue p. 176 (by Ian Were), Queensland Art Gallery publication, Brisbane
1998 Air New Zealand, Collaborative glass presentation slump-moulded dish with Studio 8 Glass Workshop, Fishery Falls, QLD
2014 Arts Qld Professional Studies Grant to work in Canberra, ACT
Canopy Art Centre, Cairns