Craig Charles

Craig Charles is a Melboume-based painter with Yorta Yorta heritage on his father‘s side, and Mhutti Mhutti heritage on his mother‘s side. Born in 1975 in Mildura, in Latje Latje country, Charles was raised by his great grandparents, Betty Charles, a descendant of the Djara people, and Ron Murray, a descendant of the Wamba Wamba/Lake Boga people. Creativity was part of his life from an early age: the artist remembers listening to stories and drawing with Betty and his siblings at the kitchen table from the age of four. His formal training in art began in 1996, fi rst at the Sunraysia TAFE in Mildura, and then at the Mildura Campus of La Trobe University, where Charles completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998.

As Charles has written in his masters thesis, a turning point came when an art lecturer told him “about the ability to raise awareness of the ‚Koori‘ plight, through art“. Since then Charles‘ art practice has been concerned with celebrating Aboriginal people‘s resilience, paying tribute to family, ancestors and country, and sharing their experiences and stories with wider society. Having lost a number of family members and friends from the Victorian Koori community over the years, creativity has become a means to draw strength and to heal. The artist describes it as „an amazing form of medicine“.

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