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Armidale, NSW, Australia
Jeremy “Mudjai” Devitt was born in Armidale, NSW in 1974. He is a descendent of the Nganyaywana, Daingutti (Dhanggatti) and Gumbainga (Gumbaynggir) nations and has English, Irish and Scottish heritage. At the age of 19 and halfway through his High School Certificate academic year Devitt contracted Ross River Fever. This illness changed the course of his artistic life as Devitt decided to take time out to learn more about his own culture and to pursue painting as a career. In 1997 Devitt traveled to Darwin, NT for the Fullbright Symposium on Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World. It was here he met “uncle” Peter Manabaru, a traditional man from the Barunga community of Arnhem Land, NT, who allowed Devitt to paint with him. In 1999 Devitt was then placed under the guidance of artist and elder “uncle” Joseph Beard-Wallace of Ramingining, also in Arnhem Land, NT. Together they painted for several years in a style that Devitt calls Spiritway and in 2002 they had a joint exhibition at the Byron Bay Youth Centre in Byron Bay, NSW. Devitt has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally with shows at The Hague, Den Haag, The Netherlands in 2006; Roda Sten, Gothenburg, Sweden in 2004; Helsingborg, Sweden in 2004; Rouguld Festival, Amsterdam, Holland in 2004 and at The Outback Gallery in Sydney also in 2004. In 2007 Devitt was a finalist in the Festival of Fishers Ghost Art Award at Campbelltown Arts Centre and the Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize at NSW Parliament House, Sydney. He was commissioned by the Sydney South West Area Health Service to produce the painting he refers to as his Medicine Painting that now hangs in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, NSW.Devitt is not only a painter but is known as a didgeridoo player and dancer and in 1998 together with Sean Ryan and Roy Newman he founded a dance troupe known as the Wadjarnaru Dancers.At the time of writing Devitt was a student of art at the Eora College in Darlington, an inner city suburb of Sydney. Writers: Devitt, JeremyNote: Edited by Penny Stannard with Tess Allas Date written: 2008 Last updated: 2011
b. 1974
Jeremy "Mudjai" Devitt is a painter and dancer who in 1999 was guided in painting techniques by the Ramingining elder, "Uncle" Joseph Beard-Wallace" In 2007 Devitt was a finalist in the Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize.
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