Jack Macale on exhibit

Jack Macale’s works will be on display at De Bortoli’s Aboriginal Exhibition Gallery for the next few months.

Renowned Bunuba (Fitzroy Crossing) artist Jack Macale is once again displaying his exquisite works at Rutherglen’s Aboriginal Exhibition Gallery.

It’s the third time the talented artist has exhibited in Rutherglen since the gallery first opened in 2017.

Nestled inside De Bortoli Estate Rutherglen, the gallery is the largest privately owned Aboriginal art gallery in Australia, and features Jack’s latest collection ‘Ngulyibah Gargudarradla’ which translates to ‘My Journey forward in life’.

Defying the traditional idea that an artist stick to one medium or style, Jack’s art style includes landscapes, dot painting, drawings, ochre, silhouette and abstract.

Although a self-taught artist, Jack is inspired by his grandmother Daisy Andrews, an artist recognised in Australia and overseas, who won the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 1994. He also draws inspiration from his own life experiences.

Jack told the Free Press he began taking his art seriously in 2006 while working as a teachers’ aid. The teacher had noticed his ability and encouraged him to take his painting seriously.

“The year I took my art seriously, I won three awards,” Jack said.

“Something was telling me that this was the only way I was going to get my story out about who I was and where I came from.

“When I first started my art was very confronting because I was missing home. I was encouraged to take step back and think about sharing more about dream time, but also my traditional culture and things like bush medicine, and the country I grew up in, bush tucker and the things my grandparents taught.”

Jack said his art has changed over the years, reflecting different periods of his life.

“My work is seasonal. There are good times and hard times, and the hard times bring out a different side of your work. It takes you to the next level,” the multi-award winning artist said.

“I’ve struggled with grief and loss over the last few years, and it’s started to show in my art. I’ve surprised even myself with the work I am producing.

“As soon as a vision or a dream comes to me, I must paint it straight away. This is how I tell my stories. Sometimes I cannot sleep because I have a story that I need to get out.

“My work comes from the heart, and I love telling people the story behind it.”

Jack currently has acrylic paintings as well has his incredibly detailed metallic pen on paper pieces on display in Rutherglen, ready to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. His works are accompanied by other Aboriginal artists including Billy Doolan and Silas Hobson.

A portion of the funds raised from the income of each artwork will go towards Jack’s home deposit account as well as supporting FISH with their Aboriginal Home Ownership Initiative, achieving their mission of improving the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and breaking intergenerational cycles of trauma, poverty and engagement in the justice system.

Jack’s works are also on display at other galleries in the North East including Club Savoy Myrtleford, Billy Button Bush Track Wines Myrtleford, Quest on Townsend Albury and The Plough Inn Tarrawingee.

The works will be on display for the duration of winter.