Troy Firebrace Bio
Troy, a Yorta Yorta man from Shepparton, is as enthusiastic about art as his paintings are vibrant. As a kid he’d always sketched but painting didn’t resonate with him until his year twelve art teacher encouraged him to submit a painting for his VCE. Troy painted Aboriginal designs on a skateboard; combining art with his other favourite hobby hooked Troy and he’s been inspired ever since.
Troy’s main motivation is to introduce modernism into Aboriginal arts. Whilst he appreciates the traditional art forms he feels there is room to incorporate modern ideas so that his culture can have a new expression and perhaps engage with a new generation of indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Having completed a bachelor degree in Creative Arts at Bendigo University and now studying in Masters of Teaching Secondary, Troy aspires to become an art teacher to provide not only in-depth knowledge in art but also first class cultural education which he found lacking throughout his schooling career. Whilst he was surrounded by culture and history at home it was severely lacking at school, particularly primary and secondary school where the teachers had limited knowledge about Victorian Aboriginal art styles and techniques. Troy says Aboriginal art culture was very hazy in his school and he wants to rectify that, not just so non Indigenous kids can grow up respecting and understanding the importance of Aboriginal culture but also so Aboriginal kids can feel validated in wider society. Teaching them what they can and cannot do and to pay respect to their own boundaries is very important. Troy believes it’s about respect for yourself and others and is an integral part in honouring your ancestors.
Troy has been an artist member at Gallery Kaiela in Shepparton for 8 years. It’s here Troy takes on a large body of exhibitions, workshops and commission works which take him around Victoria. He also does talks, exhibitions and workshops in Bendigo, Shepparton and surrounding regions on a one to one basis through Facebook (Troy Firebrace Art) where organisations and schools can contact him to organise an art project, exhibition involvement or workshops.
Troy confesses to being really attracted to 3 dimensional images and surfaces. Even when painting on a flat surface he explores curved lines to indicate depth of perception. And why paint on a flat canvas when you can paint a door or skateboard? He recognises that his style is evolving and is excited to try new mediums. His former university art teacher wanted him to deviate from his normally thin, controlled lines and try being rough and random. Through his studies and being exposed to non-indigenous art, new techniques, reading academic texts and art language Troy has taken this and morphed it into the next stage of his art practice, developing new concepts and techniques to project his culture and his own response as he encounters objects, stories and political views that are situated on the streets, out on the Murray or in his own home.
Troy’s ability to see both sides of the coin and his “play dough” approach enables him to move, shift and morph around his studio, absorbing the impacts and change from the surrounding world. This is what promotes the evolution in himself, the evolution in his work.