Troy is as enthusiastic about art as his paintings are vibrant. As a kid he’d always sketched but painting didn’t resonate with him until his year twelve art teacher encouraged him to submit a painting for his VCE. Troy painted Aboriginal designs on a skateboard; combining art with his other favourite hobby hooked Troy and he’s been inspired ever since. His Uncle Chris is also an artist and has been a huge influence on his style. He’s taught him about colours and what they represent, how to control the brush and maintain the paints.
Troy’s main motivation is to introduce modernism into Aboriginal arts. Whilst he appreciates the traditional art forms he feels there is room to incorporate modern ideas so that his culture can have a new expression and perhaps engage with a new generation. Currently Troy is studying Visual Arts at Bendigo University, with a view to further studies to become an art teacher, Troy aspires to provide the cultural education that lacked in his formal schooling. Whilst he was surrounded by culture and history at home it was severely lacking at school, particularly primary school where the teachers knew nothing about Victorian Aboriginal art styles and techniques. Troy says Aboriginal art culture was very hazy in his school and he wants to rectify that, not just so non Indigenous kids can grow up respecting and understanding the importance of Aboriginal culture but also so Aboriginal kids can feel validated in wider society. Teaching them what they can and cannot do and to pay respect to their own boundaries is very important. Troy believes it’s about respect for yourself and others and is an integral part in honouring your ancestors.
Troy confesses to being really attracted to 3 dimensional images and surfaces. Even when painting on a flat surface he explores curved lines to indicate depth of perception. And why paint on a flat canvas when you can paint a door or skateboard? He recognises that his style is evolving and is excited to try new mediums. His art teacher wants him to deviate from his normally thin, controlled lines and try being rough and random. Something that does not come naturally to Troy but he enjoys none the less.
Troy is passionate that Aboriginal art should be at the forefront, not something that occupies the background of the mainstream art scene. He’s frustrated that Indigenous voices aren’t heard, their cultural validity not recognised. Aboriginal life should be celebrated, promoted and embraced by all Australians.