Billie says it’s better late than never
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’
Billie Noli: “Art means everything to me now”