BIO: Garry is very proud of his Aboriginal heritage and his bloodline stems from the Dhungutti people of The Kempsey region of New South Wales.
Garry was raised in Sydney amongst the Aboriginal Community of La Perouse and guided by his parents to be strong and to embrace his Aboriginality and also identifies proudly as Dharawal and Bidjigal. And is a proud member of the Timbery Family. Garry is the great great Grandson of Queen Emma and the great great great great Grandson of Timbere who was the King of the Five Islands.
Garry acknowledges the Darkinjung people as the custodians of the land on which he lives in Kariong on the NSW Central Coast, with his wife, Natalie and their three sons, Ayden, Tyson and Kobe. Garry and Natalie are proud homestay parents to Johnny, a Developing Artist at NAISDA Dance College on the NSW Central Coast and surrogate parents to many of the other NAISDA Students. Garry has always had the creative streak in him and expressed himself through music having played drums for nearly 20 years starting in a school band and going to perform in musical competitions and festivals. He learnt to play the drums by “ear” listening to all sorts of music.
Garry had never touched a paintbrush until early 2013. Garry struggles with the title of ''Artist'' and refers to himself as “just an average bloke who paints a bit”. Garry has sold many art pieces and registered his own business Dream On Aboriginal Arts, his facebook page has thousands of followers.
In 2013 Garry was involved in the 13th Annual Mental Health: Art Works! exhibition at Gosford Regional Art Gallery. The exhibition is an extremely successful initiative by the Central Coast Mental Health Service. It acts as a public platform for mental health consumers, their families and carers, to express their experience of mental illness via different art mediums. The exhibition has also evolved as an education outreach program to the community at large about the nature of mental illness in our society.
At the exhibition opening, Garry won both the Aboriginal Health Award and the Viewers’ Choice Award for his painting, The Journey.
The Journey is the visual representation of Garry’s life up until now, with significant turnings and decision points incorporated into the design. The painting is divided into two distinct halves - the traditional brown and white which features in most Australian indigenous art on the left hand side and a large empty black region on the right. The featureless black space refers to Garry’s lack of knowing regarding his birth mother’s clan, the Dhungutti people. He is open about his birth mother having had drug and alcohol problems which meant that he was placed in a series of foster homes before being adopted when he was eighteen months old. The painting as a whole depicts his search for and the establishment of a solid identity for himself. ‘It’s taken me a long time to discover who I am and where I fit into this life of mine,‘ he says. The actual process of painting The Journey enabled him to uncover and come to terms with difficulties in his past and to lay them to rest.
Garry’s most recent achievement is winning the Tony Donovan Award (1st prize) at the 2014 Reconciliation Exhibition at the Gosford Regional Art Gallery on the 25th May 2014. Garry was so honoured and proud to be acknowledged for his work and to be thought of so highly and awarded by people of his own culture.
Garry’s pride in his Aboriginal heritage is part of the reason behind his paintings LESS... Garry is very proud of his Aboriginal heritage and his bloodline stems from the Dhungutti people of The Kempsey region of New South Wales.
Garry was raised in Sydney amongst the Aboriginal Community of La Perouse and guided by his parents to be strong and to embrace his Aboriginality and also identifies proudly as Dharawal and Bidjigal. And i... MORE...