A profile of Artist, Richard Bell

Published Date: 28/04/2004  AEST
Reporter: Nancia Guivarra

Last year, Charleville born man Richard Bell won the premier award for an Indigenous artist, the Telstra Art Award 2003. When he collected the award, the t-shirt he wore caused a furore; he's an artist who says he's not an artist... meet Richard Bell, this week on Message Stick TV. Tune in on Friday night the 30th of April at 6 pm and repeated on Sunday the 2nd of May at 1.30 pm.

Black Arts spoke to Richard Bell and asked him 21 questions....

My name is Richard Bell

I'm from Charleville, Queensland

I am an ...basically art is a means for me to get my message across, probably more an activist than an artist, I used to be an inactivist but I got out of the habit

To chillout I like to paint

I'm reading ...looking at starting a book called Dreamers by Tom Chetwynd Ė itís sort of sub Freudian. Iíve been reading about the Black Panther Party, Blood on the Wattle by Bruce Elder and Chomsky

I'm drinking just water

I'm eating well. Iíve been eating healthy lately, like getting a bit older, gotta stay away from chicken skin and the fat from pork and meat. Turkish bread with avocado, basically pretty simple sort of stuff

The thing I do best is showoff!

When I'm in a bad mood I listen to soul; Al Green, Marvin Gaye

When I'm in a gallery I'm most likely drawn to ...probably conversation. I like to listen to people who love art. I honestly donít know whatís seen to be a good painting

The piece of technology that has most shaped my life is the airplane, motor car, trains. Travelling has most shaped my life Ė those sort of things, because when I was young I never imagined Iíd be able to leave Australia - thought maybe Iíd get to Melbourne

I find inspiration in the ordinary things, probably conversations, you know like, well nearly always in conversations

The last website I visited was ... I met this guy from Canada late last year and he alerted me to this website called psycholinguistics which Iíd never heard of and which Iíve heard little about.

It was really interesting, they talk about, in language, Westerners know almost all there is to know about Western languages and a little about Oriental, but diddly squat about Native Aboriginal languages and what that does, it questions every negotiation that has been made between native people and colonisation.

What theyíre saying is it was impossible for either side to know what the other was saying, and so the contracts made are unfair, and the legality of it comes into question.

My favourite film is Field of Dreams. Comedy is probably my favourite genre

My favourite play is I havenít got a favourite play but I remember driving past a theatre once and they had Onegin playing, and a friend said, "Gee those cheeky white fellasí, theyíve got a play called one gin."

My favourite place is probably home

You can find me in the Mystery Thriller Fiction section of a bookshop.

The first thing I read in the paper is the Sports section

The first thing I look at when I meet a person is their eyes

I wish I was healthier

Paradise is where white people live