Dylan Charles

Dylan ‘djunda’ Charles
Djunda Toolinyagan–ngureban (Traditional Name)

Bird spirit

Kinglikebilly (Artist Name)

 Dylan J Charles is a proud Yorta Yorta/ Boonwurrung / Wurundjeri/ Pangerang man. He is the great grandson of Simon Wonga and King ‘Billy’ Billibellary Wurundjeri Ngurungaeta, Head Clans Man of Eastern Kulin Nation, also a descendant of Turgganinii Palawa Aboriginal Princess (4 x great grandmother).

Dylan has been an artist for 7 years. He started Painting for cultural healing and to connect with his cultural traditions at an Aboriginal men’s cultural healing centre located in Gippsland on Gunai Kurnai Country called ‘Wulgunggo Ngalu’.

Dylan then continued to paint, finding purpose and a desire to establish himself as an artist and teacher for his community to help other young people like himself, to heal through cultural practices. He continued to study at GOTAFE Shepparton in the Visual Arts sector gaining a Certificate in Visual Arts. Dylan is a lead artist at Kaiela Arts on Yorta Yorta country for the last 7 years, and currently is employed as a Cultural Heritage Field Officer for Yorta Yorta Nations Aboriginal Corporation. Dylan also designs cultural programs and art classes for at risk youth, post release from juvenile justice and works in the Department of Education teaching culture in schools and universities. His goals are to run, own and manage his own gallery.

Dylan ‘djunda’ Charles style of painting has changed since he first began painting from contemporary aboriginal art to a more traditional style that represents the Yorta Yorta people. “The ‘raak’ cross hatching style and ‘x-ray’ lineal design is traditionally used in my tribe and most other southern eastern coast regions and freshwater Countries. After I sat with my elders and learned our ways… the traditional ways of Country, lifestyle, the lore of my Country, and the history of my tribe, people, and my ancestors. I noticed my art began to shift spiritually and change back to the old way… the traditional way. I sometimes do contemporary style art but very rarely. I like to paint the way my ancestors painted with the lore inside it that teaches the younger generation and tells them the stories of our Country and people. Over the years my cultural knowledge has grown, and I now know my Country, my history, and my lore. I have spent many years with elders on my Country studying the true history of the Yorta Yorta people and they now class me as a knowledge holder called the ‘painter keeper’ and ‘passer of sacred knowledge’ a ‘storyteller’ and ‘historian of the traditional life’. I have earned my respect from my old people and became a man of culture, Country, and ceremony. My dillybag of knowledge is sacred, special and, important for the future generations which I will pass onto after I’m gone.”

Dylan’s work is collectable with an extensive and impressive credit list and sales history in over 18 countries globally – USA, Scotland, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, China, Sweden, Macedonia, Ireland, Israel and others.

Credits include:

  • Billie Eilish (Singer, Songwriter, USA)
  • Hon, Martin Foley MP
  • County Court of Victoria
  • William Cooper Justice Centre
  • Shepparton Magistrates Court
  • Parliament House
  • Gerald Pillay, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool University, UK
  • University of Melbourne
  • Rumbalara Medical Clinic
  • Parks Victoria
  • Tatura Hospital
  • Numerous other private collectors

Share this news