Deadly Aboriginal Artists Interview with Garry Purchase

Q: How old were you when you started painting?

I first picked up a paintbrush in 2013 when was 35. I’d walked through an Aboriginal art exhibition/competition at Gosford Regional Gallery and was inspired. I left there and went straight to an art shop. The next year i entered and won first prize.


Q: What inspires you?

Besides the obvious answer in my culture and carrying it forward... In general, I’d say positivity and self-belief.

I don’t take no for an answer. When it comes to what can be achieved, anything is possible if you just have a go. There is so much untapped talent out there!

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.


Q: Who is your favourite artist?

There’s a few!

Vincent Van Gogh. I love his bold brushstrokes, use of colour and composition.

Ralph Mcquarrie. He was the conceptual artist for the original Star Wars movies. He had the task of creating all the visuals of worlds and creatures of a galaxy that didn’t exist. He is who inspires me to try new things and think outside of the square.

Jandamarra Cadd. When it comes to Aboriginal Artists, he sits at the top for me. Insanely talented and humble. I’m known for my dotwork, and he is who I look up to when it comes to that. He completely changed my thoughts on what Aboriginal art can be.


Q: What advice would you give early childhood educators wanting to celebrate Aboriginal art in their art program?

Embrace our culture. You don’t have to be Aboriginal to celebrate it and support it. Take the time to really learn about Aboriginal Australia. The more you learn, the more it benefits everyone moving forward. Knowledge truly is power.


About Garry Purchase

Garry is an amazing artist and friend of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Collective. You may be familiar with Garry’s work as he has an amazing reputation and can be unmistakenly seen as the key design element on all of the Collectives books and products.

Garry is a proud Aboriginal man of Dharawal, Bidjigal and Dhungutti descent. He grew up in Sydney's Eastern suburbs in Botany and was raised amongst the Aboriginal community of La Perouse.

Garry is a member of the Timbery family of which there are many famous members. He is the Great Great Great Great Grandson of Timbery (Or Timberé), leader of the Dharawal people and was bestowed the title "King Of The Five Islands" by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Garry is also The Great Great
Grandson of Queen Emma Timbery and is a cousin of Esme Timbery who are both internationally renowned for their artistic shell work. His great uncle is Joe Timbery, world champion boomerang thrower who also presented one to Queen Elizabeth II in 1954.