Anthony Turnbull

Anthony Turnbull

Artist Statement

Painting Aboriginal stories is my Passion

I began painting when I was 16 years of age, I was taught by Vincent Serico who is a well-known Aboriginal artist throughout Australia and abroad. Painting for me is a way of sharing my culture and bridging the gap with all cultures by explaining why I paint what I paint and what it means to me as an Aboriginal man.

My art is an extension of my inner feelings towards my Aboriginal heritage. I feel proud when people appreciate it, and ask me questions. When I paint I think of how, when and where my ancestors painted? How they felt about their paintings and what it meant to them?

Cross hatching is a style I was taught and continue to practice today, using the four traditional ochre colours of red, yellow, black & white. I like my paintings to jump out at the viewer, to go away feeling good about what they have seen and to talk about the stories I am putting on canvas or whatever material I have painted on.

I love to see the look on people’s faces when they view my art. Seeing people appreciate my art allows me to tell them more of myself and to help people understand what it means to me to be Aboriginal.

Painting gives me peace, and relaxes my inner soul. I paint to share the stories that have been told to me as a young person. I also like to recreate stories which have happened in the past when explorers first travelled throughout My Country and Australia.


Hi my name is Anthony Turnbull but most people know me as “Boy”, by my nick name. I currently live in Oakey and have done so for the past 12yrs. I am originally from Chinchilla where I grew up and went to school.

I am of Aboriginal decent and I follow my mother’s bloodline for which she is “Mithika”. “Mithika Nation” is situated between Birdsville and Windorah in far Western Queensland. My father is from the “Bigambul Nation” which is located around the outskirts of Goondiwindi & Toobeah, South West Queensland.

I have four daughters of who follow their mother’s Aboriginal bloodline of Mandandanji. My youngest daughter follows her mother’s Aboriginal bloodline of Budjari.

 I like to read books on Australian Aboriginal history and paint stories about the impact on my ancestors & the stories they shared around campfires with our people. Putting these stories on canvas is a way for me to express my inner feelings of happiness & sorrow all in one, and even sometimes anger of how my ancestors were treated, but most importantly how they lived a peaceful & happy life on the land.

 I love to paint stories about my culture and sharing them with people, especially children, as I have written and illustrated a children’s book with watercolours, which was published in 2011 by Black Ink Press in Townsville. The book is called “Darby, Makin Track,” which is based on my Uncle Darby McCarthy who is well known throughout Australia and the world as the first Aboriginal Champion jockey.

Relaxation for me is a canvas, brushes & paints sitting under a tree in the bush, I can think of no better way of relaxing. I just love the bush especially the country for which my parents come from and where my ancestors walked for thousands of years.