No pain, no gain

by John

posted June 27, 2015

category Art / Design, Koorie, Painting, Uncategorized

I’m currently pretty happy. I’ve been announced on the shortlist for the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, at my first attempt at participating in any sort of art competition, despite practicing my art in one form or another for over 30 years. It was about time that I put myself out there, in a capacity other than […]

Criminal leadership in W.A

by John

posted May 9, 2015

category Politics, Uncategorized

Like usual it’s been a fair while since my last update. I’ve been flat out with an array of projects and obligations – exhibitions, working on country, teaching, painting, sculpting, and a bunch of other projects, spreading myself thin, and slowing the rate at which each project is completed, whilst also ensuring I’ve less chance […]

Art distractions

by John

posted November 6, 2014

category Art / Design, Culture, Family, History, Koorie, Painting, Politics, Work

It’s been a long time since my last update, but not for a lack of things to write about. The fact is that I just haven’t had the time to sit down and take stock of what I’ve been up to this year since my road trip with my son Tiriki in April. When I […]

Far and Wide

by John

posted April 30, 2014

category Art / Design, Culture, Koorie, Travel, Wood Carving, Work

I live in an amazing land and recently my son Tiriki (age 4) and I were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to explore some more of it. On Friday 18 April, Tiriki and I set out from the outskirts of Melbourne where we live for “a big adventure”. A great opportunity for my first […]


by John

posted March 1, 2014

category Art / Design, Painting, Traditional Arts, Wood Carving

  Per usual it’s been a while since my last update and I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking (I do like that saying, but I have never checked the validity of such an observation). Tomorrow (March 2) I’ll be attending the launch of my first ever fine art exhibition, which will be a […]

Off to a Flyer

by John

posted December 5, 2013

category Travel, Uncategorized, Work

It’s great to be home! Well, I’ve been home for quite a while now actually. We’re into early December and I’m still coming down from a high after having flown to the United States for a work conference in October, for study and some sight-seeing as well. Not only did I find the trip to […]

Mr. Patten Goes to Washington

by John

posted September 30, 2013

category Art / Design, Theatre, Travel

It’s been a hell of a time of late. Fresh from having run my first festival the Bunjilaka Ngargee, for the opening of the First Peoples permanent exhibition at Melbourne Museum, I’m preparing for my first overseas trip. On Thursday October 3 I’ll be heading off to the U.S to speak at the IMTAL Global […]

First Peoples’ illustrations

by John

posted July 12, 2013

category Art / Design, Culture, Illustration, Koorie, Theatre, Work

True to form it’s been a while since my last update, and there’s a lot I’ve been working on, or having fun with in the meantime. I’ve just finished some illustration work, which is supplemental to my role as an educator and senior programs officer at Melbourne Museum. The work is to be part of […]

Taking a knapp

by John

posted February 26, 2013

category Culture, Traditional Arts

For a while now I’ve been dabbling with stone knapping, which is the art of making stone tools (knives, blades, scrapers and other cutting edges) from stone. It’s been an easy introduction because my mate J.D, who is my teacher is also one of the most accomplished knappers in Australia. I’ve assisted J.D in the […]


by John

posted February 5, 2013

category Culture, Family, History, Koorie, Politics, Uncategorized

Jarahyn Patten, born on January 26, 2013. Besides being known for a number of other things, January 26 this year represents the 75th Anniversary of the first Aboriginal “Day of Mourning” which was held on this day in 1938 at Australia Hall, in Sydney. The Day of Mourning was held to mark the sesquicentennial of […]


by John

posted January 18, 2013

category Culture, Family, Koorie

I’ve been on leave from work for 4 days, waiting on the arrival of the newest member of my family. Baby’s due date is (depending on which view you go with) either tomorrow (Jan 18) or Monday (Jan 21). So basically I’m not thinking about this as my annual leave; I’m just sitting on my […]

Waa & the Seven Sisters

by John

posted January 11, 2013

category Art / Design, Koorie, Theatre, Writing

So it’s early January and I’m in the middle of our new theatre show, Waa & the Seven Sisters. The show is the follow-up to last year’s Tiddalik the Giant Frog, and much like Tiddalik the show is based on a traditional Koorie creation story. This time around the story comes from the Kulin people […]