Balang T. E. Lewis
25/08/1958 – 10/05/2018
Born in Ngukurr, on the banks of the Roper River, South East Arnhem Land, Balang was the son of Welsh stockman Hurtle Lewis and Murrungun, Wandarrang Mara artist Angelina George. A renowned actor and musician, from Jimmie Blacksmith to King Lear, Balang delivered critically acclaimed, award winning and thought-provoking performances throughout his 40 year career.
Balang returned home to the Northern Territory in 2001, and spent the last seventeen years of his life here, committing himself to cultural revival and community development, as well as film, theatre and music projects.
Artistic and Founding Director of Djilpin Arts, Ghunmarn Culture Centre and the Walking with Spirits Festival, a legacy collection of his artworks are now a feature of our Museum at Beswick.
It was a very powerful, almost untamed belief that
art would change the world and he set out to do that.
In a remote Northern Territory Indigenous community, Djilpin Arts has, for nearly two decades, developed a vibrant and thriving cultural enterprise.
Djilpin Arts is represented as a tall, strong tree. It has deep roots holding strong the core cultural values of its community and people. These roots have grown a tall, powerful tree with a canopy of far reaching branches, where cultural expression meets community wellbeing to provide fruitful outcomes, year after year. A healthy tree produces flowers, fruits and seeds that support the regeneration process. In the Djilpin vision, these outcomes are active expressions of cultural knowledge and are regenerative, keeping the cultural water flowing.
Indigenous cultural knowledge systems are valued and sustained.
Promote wellbeing and sustainability through cultural expression in the community of Beswick.
Provide secure infrastructure for arts and cultural practice.
Support Indigenous people to be employed purposefully.
Valuing cultural traditions of individuals, families, and community.
Respecting dignity and equity for all.
Fostering independence and cultural integrity.