Billy Bain's Art Will Make You Think & Giggle - Stab Mag

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Billy Bain’s Art Will Make You Think & Giggle

An indigenous artist who f*cking rips.

elsewhere // Apr 13, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve always loved Billy Bain’s work. 

But I find it hard to talk about art without feeling like a wanker. I’ll just say, Billy’s work is nice to look at and makes you giggle and think. If you live in, or are around Sydney from March 26th – June 19th you can check out his ‘Being Manly’ exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. Can go watch the CS event and make a day of it. Hot tip: catch the ferry from Circular Quay for the full Australiana experience.

Billy Bain is a proud Darug man, Sydney’s indigenous and first nation people. His lineage is strong and links back to Maria Lock, the first woman to have a legally recognised marriage with a settler. Bil was born and raised in Manly, in a very white environment. He was not educated like most kids on his indigenous culture, history, or given any knowledge of their local existence. “As a teenager, he began to question all of this, and to understand what his place was as a young indigenous man of his area,” says his pop, Rob Bain, former CT vet and World Master Champ. 

Billy’s work is humorous but powerful if one takes the time to dive deeper into the subject matter and think about this in a historical and current sense. A piss take and affection to characters created, with an underbelly that makes you question what the real message is. “Billy is a really creative individual, not driven so much by the dollar, but life as an emerging artist is pretty tough going I can say that. He also can thread a barrel with the best of ’em and hammer a deep rail.” 

You can find more of his work here.


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