Aboriginal artist, Greg Muir has been announced as the 2017 winner of the Best Achievements in Arts (Visual) at the Funds in Court Inspire Awards, an annual award ceremony organised by the Supreme Court of Victoria that recognize outstanding achievements of individuals with a disability.
Greg, who has cerebral palsy, was recognised for his prolific body of paintings that
express his admiration for the traditional owners of Australia’s land and are an exploration of his intersectional identity.
Greg began painting over 45 years ago through an art class at disability support provider, Scope. He has since been exhibited his work in several collections at Melbourne-based and regional galleries.
“I began painting in 1971 with Scope. I felt so good the first time I painted. I was so calm and so relaxed, I had never felt like that before,’ said Greg.
Scope has provided ongoing support to Greg, featuring his pieces in its annual exhibition Kaleidoscope at No Vacancy Gallery and Gertrude Contemporary, and securing a mentorship with acclaimed artist Fergus Binns.
“Scope has supported me from the very beginning. They saw my talent and helped me nurture it throughout the years. The very first time one of my paintings was exhibited was at Kaleidoscope. I felt really proud,” said Greg.
Greg was also awarded the Creative Victoria Award for Excellence at the Koorie Art Show in 2016, an open-entry, non-acquisitive award exhibition to Koorie and Victorian based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
“My identity is a big influence on my paintings. I am inspired by the art of my ancestors and I am inspired by other artists with disability, and I want to express this through my work,” said Greg.
“It is very important to showcase this through my paintings. When someone sees my paintings, I want to teach them about my people, my history and my identity. I want them to see the world through my eyes.”
Scope CEO, Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald said, “Greg is widely admired by his peers for his outstanding body of artwork. He’s determined to improve and always seeks out opportunities to further his artistic talent.”
“His paintings are hugely popular. He’s definitely got a strong following in the Scope community and beyond.”
Aside from painting Greg has a wide variety of interests, and has recently branched out into the performing arts, acting with Weave Movement Theatre and playing Balloon Football League, a modified version of AFL for people with disabilities.
Greg supplements his income by selling his paintings at St Kilda Market and the Koorie Night Market, which has allowed him to interact and reach a diverse audience and discuss his heritage and culture. He was also involved in promoting the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum and the Aboriginal Heritage Trust at Federation Square.
The Funds in Court Inspire Awards recognize the achievements of Victorians living with disability for their professional contribution, leadership and work in creating an inclusive Australian society.
Scope’s mission is to enable each person to live as an empowered and equal citizen.
We support people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities and developmental delays to achieve their goals.
Across Victoria, Scope provides services to over 6,000 people with a disability across more than 100 service locations.
Scope also works with corporate and community organisations to improve inclusiveness for people with a disability.
Scope’s foundations stretch back to 1948, when a group of parents who wanted better lives and options for their children with disabilities established the Spastic Children’s Society of Victoria.
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