Indigenous artist

Andrew Roger Highfold

Andrew Tjupurrula Highfold describes his art as ‘contemporary with traditional input.’ He captures the intensity of the Central Australian landscape through his use of colour and his fine detail depicting aspects of the natural world. He says ‘As a contemporary artist I ask my family what I can paint’, meaning that he consults about the content of his paintings while experimenting with the style and techniques to carry that story. Andrew was born in 1958 and grew up in Adelaide. He was part of the Stolen Generation and began reconnecting with his traditional family when he was 24. Andrew worked as an ambulance officer for 11 years and assisted the at the Royal Adelaide Medical School building connections between Indigenous medical students and the broader medical profession. Eventually in 2010 Andrew moved with his family to Alice Springs and began to build on the relationships to his extended Aboriginal family. Andrew’s traditional connections are to Kokatha and Pitjantjatjara clans through his mother’s family. Several years later in 2012 Andrew began painting, talking with family members and recording his sense of Country and the way people were closely involved in Country. Andrew describes it this way – ‘Through my painting it really connects me to who I am. It strengthens my Aboriginality. It brings my family together. When I was in Alice and painting it would all bring us together. My brothers would come around and they would sing to the paintings. Painting is good for my kids, it documents that historical kinship.’ Andrew continues the journey which is about heritage, family, culture and identity. His paintings are statements on the importance of the values that are transferred in families and through culture. Aboriginal art status – Rising Star.

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