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Under the clearest blue sky | Uncle Brian Birch

3 July 2021 - 18 September 2021


‘When I’m painting, I feel I’m in another place; a spiritual place where everything just comes out of me about my people and my community, and I’m always learning.’


Under the clearest blue sky is a survey of  Uncle Brian Birch’s vibrant paintings. Bringing together works from personal and institutional collections, this intimate body of work examines Uncle Brian’s connection to Country, family and tradition. Uncle Brian picked up a paintbrush at age 70 after completing a course in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) and has since taken to working on large scale canvases. He is still painting at the age of 86.


Uncle Brian Birch was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1936. He completed his studies at NMIT in 2005 and won the National Gallery of Victoria Acquisitive Art Award in the 2006 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards. He received the 2006 Gumbri White Dove Award at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, and was commended in the Koori Heritage Trust Acquisition Award in 2008.


Image: Uncle Brian Birch Koori elders and family dancing 2013. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 140cm x 190cm. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria

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