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SAM Drawing Wall #39: Troy Firebrace

Troy’s practice is influenced by his experiences growing up in his hometown of Shepparton and with his family on the banks of the Dungala (Murray river) or Kaiela (Goulburn river). His paintings share his affinity as a Yorta Yorta man with the surrounding red gum forests, rivers and its offshoots.

SAM Drawing Wall #39: Troy Firebrace

Quick Info

16 January – 27 June 2021
Riverlinks Eastbank, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton

Induction, 2019 invites us to “walk within two worlds”. Using geometric designs that seem almost digital in appearance, the artist mimics something very real – the country and landscape that we inhabit. He asks us to stop and look, to connect to our surroundings, rather than our digital devices.  

Think about the sounds, smell and feelings that you might experience out on country whether it’s on the Murray, or the Goulburn River just behind this building. I ask for you to walk within two worlds” says Troy.  

We might see in this work the familiar sight of cracked riverbeds during the dry times of the year when the water in the river is low and the Cray beds of the high banks are exposed to the sun. We might recognise the silhouette of the river, its creeks and streams flowing and branching out, simultaneously resembling the roots of the famous red gums that flank our ancient water ways. On a personal level, the pattern work within the river represents the artists culture flowing with the current, and the use of bright colours reflect his ambition to experiment with his culture, past, present and future.  

Based in Bendigo, Troy Firebrace runs his own arts and education business Firebrace Designs. Under this title he not only practices as a professional artist but also as an Aboriginal educator providing and developing Aboriginal based learning and lessons for all ages. He has worked all over Victoria in many Primary and Secondary schools as well as TAFEs and Universities.  

Troy studied a Bachelor inCreative Arts, Major in Fine Art, at Bendigo University and is currently completing a Masters of Teaching Secondary Education. Firebrace has exhibited widely in Victoria and was the winner of the Art Gallery of Ballarat Victorian Indigenous Art Awards in 2015.

Image: Troy Firebrace, Reflection (detail), 2019.

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