Arts and Culture

Welcoming you to his home

Artist Profile: Joel Barney

Joel Barney
Proud Butchulla man and Hervey Bay local, Joel Barney, loves living on the Fraser Coast.

“Hervey Bay is my home. I never want to leave here. I want to do my part to make it an even better place to live and leave a legacy.”

Joel is a self-taught artist and has been painting for seven years.

“I developed my own style of Aboriginal art based on my people’s stories and also my mentors from other tribes who taught me how to use paint to express myself.

“When I paint Butchulla art, I take all my reference colours from the life and scenes I see around Butchulla country.”

Joel’s style is unique in that he is also strongly influenced by Greek and Renaissance art and he seamlessly blends realism with traditional Aboriginal symbolism to create striking pieces.

Joel has been commissioned by HBRG to develop a mural in the gallery foyer welcoming guests both to the space and to country, and we can expect to see this distinct fusion present in the mural.

“I am looking forward to working out in public and getting to share the process  and discuss the work with visitors,” he said of painting the artwork in the foyer once the gallery reopens.

“My dream is to raise the profile of Butchulla people and our art so that it might one day be as widely recognised as some of the most famous art movements and styles.”

Photo provided by Joel Barney.

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