Brian “Binna” Swindley is the owner and artist-in-residence at Janbal Gallery in Mossman, north of Cairns.
Binna’s mother and uncle were both artists, and he himself studied the “rules” of traditional indigenous art, at TAFE in Cairns. But since then he has developed his own spectacular designs, that are influenced by what he sees on visits to the ocean and the bush.
“My work is a bit more about contemporary artwork. This is all about what I see when I go travelling in the rainforest, and what I feel, what I play with and what I eat,” says Binna.
His distinctive cassowary footprints are a feature of several of his artworks, and they’re significant as a totem of his rainforest people. He’s happy to share his method for painting them during the gallery’s art classes.
Binna’s “Paint Your Own Boomerang” or “Paint Your Own Canvas” workshops run for an hour and a half, and in that time he shares brush stroke techniques, and some of his signature designs, with small groups of willing students.
Part of the charm of time spent with Binna is sharing his stories of Kuku Yalanji culture. He uses a collection of found and foraged items to educate his groups about the traditional indigenous way of life in the Daintree Rainforest.
His own original acrylic on canvas works are available for sale to visitors to the gallery, and you can virtually browse them via his online store.
Binna is one fascinating fella, so make sure you visit him at Janbal Gallery – in the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef town of Mossman.
Could there be a more perfect souvenir to remember this Year of Indigenous Tourism, than your own painting from one of his art classes?