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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Digby’s big art for ‘little’ Woolies

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A new work created by Digby Moran for the new Woolworths store in River Street Ballina. Photo Artscape Internatonal
A new work created by Digby Moran for the new Woolworths store in River Street, Ballina. Photo Artscape Internatonal

Ballina-based Indigenous artist Digby Moran has created some substantial works in his time but few are as imposing as the one now decorating the wall of Ballina’s new River Street Woolworths.

Digby’s new work is inspired by traditional Aboriginal dot painting but he has taken it to a ‘hole’ new level by drilling the dots into a series of large timber panels, which have been fixed to the side of the building.

It is fitting that Digby’s art, which has been exhibited around the word, should find such a prominent place in his home town.

This particular work was commissioned for Woolworths by Artscape International, a company that describes itself as ‘a professional art consultancy with expertise in commissioning site-specific artworks in the public and private domain’.

Art has wrought a remarkable transformation in Digby’s life. He grew up on Cabbage Tree Island and worked as a cane cutter and later a professional boxer before deciding to give up alcohol at the age of 42 and study art.

Has work has since been exhibited around Australia and as far away as Germany.

In 2000 he won the People’s Choice Award at the National Aboriginal and Islander Telstra Art Award at the Northern Territory Art Gallery and was a finalist in the New South Wales Parliament Aboriginal Art Prize in 2011 and 2012.

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