Artist Insights: Marbukk

Marbukk is a long-standing participant of The Torch, who has been making art and engaging in the program since 2016.

He paints bright and colourful paintings, mostly of the landscape, wildlife and birds of the Mallee. He often paints thickly textured works, such as his Confined 12 artwork ‘Nature and the Land at Work’, which uses layers of dot work to build up the colours in the image.

Marbukk told us about the flow he gets in when he paints in his shed out the back of his house.

Sometimes I sit at it for 8 hours, sometimes just a couple of hours. Some days I can go out all day and miss tea. I get lost in what I’m doing. When it does happen, I don’t even come up for lunch. I just get engrossed in painting. When I really get in that mood, you feel that roll, that free mode and you don’t want to stop it.

Before prison though, Marbukk didn’t think he had any talent whatsoever and it was only through connecting with other men in The Torch program that he explored his own skills.

When I was in jail, I was drawing, just doodling and someone saw. Convinced me to begin painting. Other men encouraged me, showed me a few things. And we all encouraged each other. I could sit and watch other artists paint for quite a while, and while I was watching I would get ideas to paint myself.

Because of his experience Marbukk told us that he is over the moon with the work The Torch does for artists and Aboriginal people in prison.

The whole Torch family is a very exciting family and that’s how I see it, because it gives you something to look forward to. I just think The Torch is brilliant. One of the most brilliant things that I have come across, I couldn’t speak highly enough of it.

He hopes the program can reach Aboriginal people in prisons everywhere and help them improve their lives, like it did his.

Check out the works from this valued part of The Torch family here.