ARTIST: Billy Jay (BJ) O’Toole
TITLE: Koling wada ngal (Let us walk together)
LANGUAGE/REGION: Wadawurrung – Kulin Nation
YEAR: 2021
DIMENSIONS: 1200mm x 1200mm
MEDIUM: synthetic polymer paints on canvas

Billy-Jay O’Toole is a proud Wadawurrung man residing on Wadawurrung country in Mount Duneed. I was been born and raised on Wadawurrung country in Geelong, Victoria.
He is a recognized Traditional Owner and member of Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation where he also works as a Cultural Heritage Representative.

In 2019, BJ completed his Certificate 4 in Cultural Heritage Management enabling him to strengthen his cultural commitment to his country and community whilst also strengthening his
cultural connection to family and country.

Working and walking on country and learning from country as a Field Officer reignited BJ’s spirit to paint and spread the gift of storytelling through art. He has created many stories of
Country covering themes from water, land and animals.

BJ’s art style is contemporary, always reflecting the story’s and colours of Country. With the use of bright and earthy colours and symbols, as well as the elements of country, water,
mountains, sun and coast – all of which give us what we need to live.

“I am on a journey learning language and I like to connect this to my paintings and stories of Wadawurrung Country.”

Koling wada ngal (Let us walk together)

“Creation started with Bunjil, followed by the two moieties of Wadawurrung Country, Bunjil and Waa.
Country is living and provides for all of us, from our mountain country, freshwater country, woodland country and saltwater country.
We gathered, traded and deeply listened and communicated to our Country and our Elders.
Today many share our country. We all need to deep listen together and respectfully walk together for Reconciliation.
Our handprint is our own identity they give us the ability to heal, help, hold, they carry the knowledge and identity of our journey.
Eucalypt brings cleansing, peace and healing to come together, connect together, respectfully on First Nations country.
The footprints leading into the handprints in the middle represents Datacoms commitment to reconciliation.
The footprints leading out symbolises Datacom working with their suppliers, clients and community members within their daily roles.”

This artwork hangs proudly in the head office of Datacom, Canberra.

Read more about Indigenous Culture and Community

© Dreamtime Art 2021

Please Note: This biography and Intellectual Property including Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property belongs to Dreamtime Art Creative Consultancy, the artists/their estates and is subject to copyright. To protect these copyrights, no reproduction of any or all parts is allowed unless there is prior written permission and approval by Dreamtime Art Creative Consultancy.