Willie Billabong | Artist Profile

Details of Willie Billabong


Bush Name Tjirrjiyii
Language Kukatja
Country Mungai Hills, near Yagga Yagga

Billabong was born at Mungai Hills, near Yagga Yagga, south of Balgo in the Great Sandy Desert. He is a respected law man and maparn (medicine) man. He travelled extensively amongst desert communities as a young man and speaks Jaru, Kukatja, Wangkatjunka, Gooiyandi, Walmajarri, and other desert languages. He was bought out of the desert in chains to Halls Creek. He then spent time living in Broome for awhile in the 1960's. He also worked as a stockman. He lived many years in Halls Creek where he started to paint at the art centre there. He returned to Broome and spent the last year of his life there, before walking out to the bush to die, bush way. His work is classic old man desert art, which includes Tingarri stories.

Solo Exhibitions
2004 'This is country', Artplace, Perth
2002 Artplace, Perth

Group Exhibitions
2004 Willie Billabong William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2003 Artplace Group Show 2003, Artplace, Perth
2002 Artplace Group Show 2002
2002 Melbourne Art Fair 2002, Artplace stand
2002 Kintolai Gallery, Adelaide
2002 Year of the Outback, Halls Creek Resource Centre
2002 Short on Size, Short st. Gallery Broome
2001 Halls Creek Resource Centre opening, group exhibition
2001 Commonwealth Peoples Festival, Brisbane, group exhibition
2000 "Paintings From Halls Creek", Artplace,
2000 Perth with Tiny Mc Cale and Jack Lannigan, Artplace, Perth.
1999 Yaryil Artists, Short St. Gallery Broome

2002 Neville Weston, In the Picture, p12-13, The West Australian, 30th Nov.
2001 Australian Painting 1788 - 2000; Oxford University Press; p585; 2001

Kerry Stokes,
National Gallery of Victoria.
Dr Ian & Sue Bernadt,
Dr C & L Laverty collection,
Art Gallery of Western Australia,
Artplace, and
private collections in Germany, France and Australia

Artworks of Willie Billabong