Robert Nugent was born on Palm Island and has lived there his entire life.
When he was younger he found going to school to be very difficult. He was very withdrawn and shy, so the social aspect of it became increasingly difficult for Robert to handle.
As he grew into a teenager, these feelings morphed into disrespect for authority.
I became wild and acted dangerously. I had no respect for the law, and that is when I landed myself in jail.
While in jail, Robert said he was angry, stressed about his future and felt like a lost soul looking for answers. It was at this point in his life when Robert picked up a paintbrush for the first time.
It was like a bolt out the blue when I picked up a paintbrush and began creating art. I felt uplifted – I felt at peace finally.
Robert is now 36 and living on the Island with his mother who he is very close with. He loves to paint the animals that live on Palm Island, bush tucker and experiment with traditional Indigenous Australian art techniques.
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Words by: Tiarne Pattison