Bil­lie says it’s bet­ter late than never

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - THE GROOVE - Moya Stevens

DOU­GLAS Arts Base’s (DAB’s) reg­u­lar Fea­ture Wall ex­hi­bi­tion this month is high­light­ing the works of Mossman iden­tity, Ms Bil­lie Noli.

At 74 years of age, Bil­lie is proof that it is never too old to pur­sue your pas­sion, as she only started paint­ing in her early 60s.

“I was one of the very first mem­bers of DAB back in 2002, and it was the first op­por­tu­nity I had to paint,” she said, “as we had no ac­cess to acrylics or other paint sup­plies when I was young.”

“We were con­ser­va­tive and iso­lated, and we didn’t have any TV back then.”

Bil­lie said that art wasn’t re­ally a part of the school ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem when she was a stu­dent and then she was busy rais­ing a fam­ily and earning a liv­ing to give art much thought.

“I used to sketch a lot,” she ex­plained, “and join­ing DAB and learn­ing about paints helped me build on my sketches.”

Bil­lie’s works fea­ture our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment in­clud­ing rain­for­est set­tings, land­scapes, wild life and still life.

“I paint scenes from images I have in my head, like the one of the Mossman Gorge.

“I used to ride my bike along there and I said to my­self ‘I’m go­ing to paint that scene one day’.”

“I also re­ally en­joy hand­built pot­tery and sculpt­ing proudly in­di­cat­ing sev­eral of her clay pieces on dis­play.”

Many of her works are given to her three daugh­ters and her lat­est paint­ing, yet to be fin­ished, has al­ready been “claimed” by Abi­gail.

Bil­lie had a very se­ri­ous eye op­er­a­tion three years ago and was away from her cre­ative ac­tiv­i­ties for two years.

“I missed DAB so much,” she said, “as it’s an im­por­tant out­let for my cre­ative side as well as mix­ing so­cially with lots of in­ter­est­ing peo­ple.

“Art means ev­ery­thing to me now – my girls have grown up and this is ‘my time’ now.”

Bil­lie ad­mits her favourite medium is acrylic paint­ing and her favourite sub­ject is “our unique en­vi­ron­ment in the trop­ics”.

Bil­lie’s ex­hi­bi­tion will run un­til 12 Septem­ber at DAB Stu­dio Gallery in Mill Street, Mossman, open Mon­day to Satur­day, 10am to 2pm.

I paint scenes from images I have in my head, like the one of the Mossman Gorge. I used to ride my bike along there and I said to my­self ‘I’m go­ing to paint that scene one day’

Pic­ture: MOYA STEVENS

Bil­lie Noli: “Art means ev­ery­thing to me now”

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