Dylan Charles

I grew up in Shepparton and spent many years with family at Cummeragunja (Barmah). I learnt how to get Bardi Grubs with my Grand Dad but he passed away when I was four years old. I learned the majority of my culture from my Uncle (Mum’s Brother) and he is still teaching me now. I spent a told of time at the Charles/Walker bend of Dungala (Murry River) second on the left hand side! When I was younger going to the ochre mines was a really spiritual experience for me and also going to the sandhills where our law and initiation took place over time.

I like to interpret from the stars because our Nan told us that the stars are our map and so I like to reference the night sky in my work….. like the Emu in the sky. I like to imagine that I am looking from above – a birds eye view! I also like to mirror that view – the land and sky in the one view in my work, which represents the connection between the sky and the earth.

I look to use ochre in my paintings because it feels more connected to my traditions. It has a spiritual feel for me.

My Uncle Shane has always told me I am from the Dulunyagan bloodline to Ulupna. Our language group in Yorta Yorta and this language is classed as endangered due to colonisation and language and culture being forbidden.

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