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Billy Benn Perrurle - Featured Artist

Billy Benn Perrurle

Billy Benn Perrurle was born in the Harts Range, 200 km northeast of Alice Springs. As a young man, he worked in the local mine and learned to paint from a miner's wife, who had been a Chinese watercolourist. Later when he began painting professionally, the influence of Chinese painting traditions was reflected in the scale and perspective of his artworks and their self-assured brushstrokes.


Though he painted with acrylics, the colours were arranged like a classic watercolour palette. These were applied as washes before thicker impasto paint was added. Soft pinks, golden yellows, bright oranges, velvet purples, and deep browns were used to create landforms and features. He whipped up skies and laid down slopes and escarpments with fluid single movements.


Billy Benn’s art has often been critically located outside of the art world category of fine art. Journalist Nicholas Rothwell was one of many writers to refer to him as an outsider artist, a status conferred due to his stylistically naive approach, his mental condition, and the fact that he was characterised as ‘lost between worlds’.

Billy Benn Perrurle artworks

Per Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists:


Established in 2000, the Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists studio is the first in Australia to occupy the intersection between supported studios and Aboriginal Art Centres. [...]

The Mwerre Anthurre Artists developed out of Bindi Enterprises, which was established in 1978 to provide employment and community engagement opportunities to people with disability. In the 1990’s the late Billy Benn Perrurle started his career painting on off-cuts of timber and sheets of metal from the Bindi workshop. From these humble beginnings, the collective grew into an essential and distinctive Aboriginal Art Centre with several artists creating work that is highly sought after by galleries and private collectors alike.

Billy Benn Perrurle
Billy Benn Perrurle artworks on display


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