Blak Douglas

Blak Douglas

I was raised observing a family of artists. Fortunately, my hard working parents were very supportive in nurturing my creative exploration. Spending years at the drawing desk, I developed personal skills and pursued my creativity. Meeting established artists at the pivotal ‘working’ stage of my life gave me the inspiration to apply myself within the field of arts.

I work both as a visual and performing artist and I’m known for producing poignant imagery themed heavily with commentary on Indigenous social justice. Performance wise, I travel with a one-man show entertaining school students. The show titled ‘Adamriginal’ focuses on music from various parts of the continent and an emphasis on the origins of the Didgeridoo.

I’m driven to keep creating because of the people who’ve invested their interests in collecting my work. From the private collectors, to the major institutions both nationally and abroad, these people are kind of like ‘artistic shareholders.’  Also, I represent my family, who never had a voice. I feel indebted to project the message of Australia’s dark past.

Copyright is extremely important to me as an artist. Artists are highly likely to be exploited at some point throughout their career. We need to acknowledge that free reign is not acceptable. Many auction houses in remote regions have taken free reign on remote region artists in recent years. I’ve witnessed it first-hand and became concerned enough to want to ensure that by the time my work reaches the secondary market, I wish to be duly remunerated for the honour.

I first heard of Viscopy and the Copyright Agency when studying Graphic Design at university and later at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists (Cooperative) in Sydney. As a long-serving member, each year the staff from the Copyright Agency would visit offering free tutorials on the importance of copyright. Coincidentally, years later I would produce the nation-wide ‘Resale Royalty’ poster designed at targeting remote and regional art centres.

Art in all its glory is my inspiration but, to name a definite major inspiration would be to identify Basquiat, of course. I was so impressed to have read his biography that I had his first signature ‘tag’ tattooed to the rear of my neck. Aptly, as the artists we are, everything we produce is protected by copyright.

Copyright is extremely important to me as an artist. Artists are highly likely to be exploited at some point throughout their career. We need to acknowledge that free reign is not acceptable.

Blak Douglas