DBAR Gallery's latest exhibition, Spirit Way of Painting, showcases the work of Indigenous painter, dancer and musician Jeremy 'Mudjai' Devitt.
Mr Devitt is a multi-talented artist with a rather convoluted ancestry involving the Nganyaywana, Daingutti and Gumbainga Aboriginal nations based on the NSW North Coast and Northern Tablelands and also has English, Scottish and Irish ancestors.
Mr Devitt said he was always drawing and painting as a young boy growing up in Armidale and until the age of six or seven was totally unaware of the differences between races.
"Until primary school, kids are simply kids and don't see the difference between Aboriginal and white people," Mr Devitt said.
"Once I went to primary school, I started to realise the difference in cultures and began to identify with my ancestors."
After a bout of Ross River fever when Mr Devitt was living in Coffs Harbour, he decided to take time out and learn more about his own culture and pursue a career as a painter.
"The old fellas I met told me my paintings were really good and gave me the confidence and encouragement to continue," Mr Devitt said.
His art was created in the spirit way of painting and showed the connection between people and their natural environment.
"I try to paint the spirit of things rather than just show the form that can be seen," Mr Devitt said.
"I aim to show all the connections which exist between people and the natural world.
"I paint for the dead people who have gone before us and try to show the past, present and future."
Mr Devitt has exhibited extensively with shows in Holland, Sweden and Sydney where he was selected as a finalist of the Festival of Fishers Ghost Art Award as well as the Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize.
The exhibition at Dbar Gallery will run until late January 2013.
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